In 2017, one of the most important events in the field of protection and registration of industrial designs
took place in Russia – Federal Law No. 55-FZ of 03.04.2017 “On the Ratification of the Geneva Act of
the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs” was signed. The
Geneva Act entered in force on the territory of the Russian Federation on February 28, 2018. Since that
date, our country has become a full-fledged participant in the Hague System.
The harmonization of the Russian legislation with a view to the ratification of the Geneva Act of the
It is worth noting that it has not been possible to ratify the above said international treaty for a long time.
Starting since 1999, when following the results of the Geneva Diplomatic Conference Russia signed the
final act of the Hague Agreement, the process of the harmonization of the Russian legislation for
protection of industrial designs has begun with a view to comply with the legal provisions of the Geneva
Act. The changes made include the following:
• The increase of the level of requirements for the subject matter for which the protection is sought.
• The graphic image of the appearance of an article has taken rank as a priority position in an application
for registration of an industrial design, and not the description of substantive features, as before.
• The period for filing an application from the date of disclosure of the information has increased from 6
to 12 months.
• The simplification of requirements for an application for registration of an industrial design: it is not
necessary to indicate the substantive features of a subject matter; the requirements to an image have been
The main advantages of the participation in the Hague System of the international registration of
The ratification of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement has allowed the applicants from Russia to
obtain a number of advantages:
1. An applicant can claim to obtain a protection document being in force in several member-states by
filing only one international application to the National Office (Rospatent) or to the International Bureau
2. There is no need to file an application in different languages, depending on the countries, in which the
registration is sought. In case, when an application is filed directly to the International Bureau of WIPO,
the applicant chooses one of three languages for filing the application: English, Spanish or French. If an
application is filed through Rospatent, it is composed in English.
3. Up to 100 industrial designs are allowed to be included in one application, provided they belong to the
same class of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (the Locarno Classification).
4. It is possible to file an international application without the mediation of a patent attorney.
5. The amount of fees has been reduced in comparison with filing several applications to national offices
of different states. The required amount is paid in a single currency (the Swiss Franc).
In the 2018 Annual Review of the Hague System, published by WIPO, the attention is focused on
increasing the number of the applications filed by 40.6% in 2015 and by 35.3% in 2016. 1 The WIPO
examiners think that the reason for such progress is the accession to the Hague Agreement of Japan, the
Republic of Korea and the United States of America. The published statistics shows a significant increase
in the volume of the applications filed in new member-states. This allows supposing that due to the
accession to the Hague System the applicant's activity will increase in Russia as well.
The first results of the accession of Russia to the Hague System of the International Registration of
The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement has entered in force on the territory of our state relatively
recently, but there are already the first positive results in the field of patenting industrial designs:
• Firstly, it is important to note that the convergence of the legislation of the Russian Federation with the
world practice and with the legislation of the European Union has occurred.
• The changes have been made in the legal norms, which are aimed at reducing the requirements for an
application for registration of an industrial design; the priority position has been allocated to the image of
the registered subject matter, what is logical, taken into account the nature and purpose of industrial
• To stimulate the growth of the number of international applications filed under the Hague System,
various reference materials and the information Internet resources have been created. For the purposes of
clarification, the WIPO website has published the Recommendations for filling in an international
application (URL: www.wipo.int/hague/en/how_to/file). On the Rospatent website there is an
international application form, as well as its translation into Russian, to simplify filling in an application
by the Russian applicants (the form should be filed in English) (URL:
www.rupto.ru/ru/activities/inter/coop/wipo / hague_system / forms_hague). There is also a fee table and a
calculator for the automatic calculation of fees (www.wipo.int/hague/ru/fees) in order to facilitate the
calculation of fees.
• According to the Annual Report of Rospatent, in 2017, the average duration of consideration of an
application for granting a patent for an industrial design at the stage of a substantive examination was
6.05 months. As the examiners of Rospatent state: “Such period for consideration creates a large margin
of safety in case of a sharp increase in the receipt of applications for industrial designs in 2018, including
in accordance with the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of
Industrial Designs.” 2
Speaking about the results of the accession to the Hague System, we can make a conclusion about
positive dynamics. The improvement and harmonization of the norms of the Russian legislation, the
simplification of the procedure for filing international applications for domestic applicants, the possibility
of filing applications to the Russian Federation by foreign applicants through the Hague System – here
are just some obvious advantages. It should be assumed that the above circumstances, as the examiners of
Rospatent suppose, will lead to an increase in the number of applicants and an increase in the number of
registered industrial designs.