Robert Stutz, Co-Chair of the MARQUES Designs Team, explains the significance of amendments to Rule 3 of the Common Regulations Under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement, which come into force on 1 January 2019
The Hague System is an important tool to protect designs on an international scale and MARQUES continues to raise knowledge and use of that system through a series of workshops in collaboration with WIPO.
MARQUES is always represented at the Working Group Meetings of the Legal Development of the Hague System in Geneva and thus is in the frontline regarding all substantial changes made to this System.
Amendments to Rule 3
The Assembly of the Hague Union adopted amendments to Rule 3 of the Common Regulations Under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement at its 38th session, which recently took place in Geneva. With these amendments, together with the increase geographical scope the appeal of The Hague System continues to increase for practitioners and rights holders alike.
In essence, the Assembly of the Hague Union relaxed the requirement to submit a power of attorney at the time of filing of an international design application. As it currently stands, “the appointment of a representative may be made in the international application, provided that the application is signed by the applicant”.
If the application is not signed by the applicant, however, the International Bureau requires a separate power of attorney signed by the applicant. This requirement has proven to be challenging for all parties involved, since strict deadlines have often to be met in order to safeguard the applicant’s rights and interests.
Therefore, as of 1 January 2019, the appointment of a representative in the international application no longer requires the signature of the applicant. The International Bureau will consider that that person has been authorized to file the application and to be recorded as the representative for subsequent procedures and the resulting international registration.
The appointment of a representative not initially indicated as such in the international application at the time of filing, however, will continue to require a power of attorney signed by the applicant.
The International Bureau will apply the changes to all international applications that have a filing date on or after 1 January 2019.
For further information please consult Information Notice No. 12/2018 relating to Amendments to the Common Regulations Under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement.
Robert Stutz is a lawyer with Beutler Künzi Stutz AG and Co-Chair of the MARQUES Designs Team
This article is included in the December 2018 issue of HouseMARQUES, the monthly MARQUES newsletter. Read the issue in full here.