On January 3, 2020, Chapter H of the Israeli Designs Law, 2017, dealing with international designs and implementing “the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs” (“the Agreement”), will become effective. As a result, companies and designers from Israel will be able to begin using “the Hague System” to protect their industrial designs in the 88 member states of the Agreement (“a Member State”) and the Israeli Patents Authority will be accepting international applications for registration of industrial designs designating Israel.
On October 3, 2019, the State of Israel joined the Agreement which established “the Hague System”. The Agreement enables citizens, residents and companies having an active industrial enterprise in a Member State to register an industrial design designating all or part of the Member States by submitting a single application to the International Office, operated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) (“the International Office”). Once approved by the International Office, the application will be reviewed by each of the designated Member States, according to the law of each country. The payment of fees for a submission of an application, using “the Hague System”, is made by a single charge of the same currency, for all countries where the protection is sought.
Joining the Agreement is expected to make it easier for Israeli rights owners to protect their designs outside of Israel (as well as for foreign rights owners wishing to register their designs in Israel, amongst others). Since registered design protection in Israel is territorial, the designs registered in Israel are protected only in Israel, and applicants who wish to protect their designs in other countries must submit separate applications for design registration in each country where they wish to protect their designs – in the language of that country and according to its fees and laws. Filing an international application will enable an applicant to seek the protection of an industrial design, as well as renew the registered industrial design, in multiple countries with minimal formalities.