Switzerland joins international agreement on designs

Switzerland

The Government of Switzerland has ratified the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, bringing to seven the number of states that have ratified or acceded to the Geneva Act - the others being Estonia, Iceland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovenia and Ukraine.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted the Geneva Act on July 2 1999 with the main purpose of making the Hague registration system compatible with the laws of certain countries that are not yet party to the Hague Agreement, in particular those countries that carry out substantive examination as to novelty (eg, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States).

The Geneva Act provides that it shall enter into force:

"three months after six states have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession, provided that, according to the most recent annual statistics collected by the International Bureau, at least three of those states fulfill at least one of the following conditions: (i) at least 3,000 applications for the protection of industrial designs have been filed in or for the state concerned, or (ii) at least 1,000 applications for the protection of industrial designs have been filed in or for the state concerned by residents of states other than that state."

Ukraine is the only state that has so far fulfilled one of these two conditions.

J David Meisser and Bettina Bochsler, Meisser & Partners, Klosters

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