Norway accedes to the Geneva Agreement
15. August 10
As and from June 17th it became much easier for Norwegian and foreign citizens and the business sector to safeguard the visual appearance of their products by applying for a design registration abroad and from abroad with one single application.
The businesses in Norway who wish to protect the design of their products by
a design registration have, up until June 17th 2010, had to apply in each single
country where they wished to secure protection. Foreign nationals on the other
hand had to apply for a national design application in Norway.
For those who have had to file design applications outside the EU, the system
of applying in each separate country has been both time-consuming and, not least,
expensive, because each single country has its own rules regarding the content
and language of the application.
The Geneva Agreement has finally come into force in Norway and Norwegian citizens
and the business sector may apply for protection for new designs through The Hague
System. This will, in practice, be a drastic simplification of the process of
protecting designs internationally and for foreign entities wanting to obtain
design protection in Norway.
According to this system the countries for which design registration is required
can be designated in one single international application. As per today it means
that the applicant can choose between 37 member countries which are party to the
system. EU is considered as one member of the system and the applicant can therefore
designate all of the EU countries in with one stroke of the pen.
In the corresponding system for trademark protection through WIPO it is a requirement
that the international application has a basic registration e.g. in Norway. For
designs there is no such requirement, and an international design application
can thus be submitted without the applicant having a prior Norwegian application
As regards the prosecution of the application each of the designated countries
will conduct independent examinations of the application which is forwarded by
The accession has been expected since the Norwegian parliament agreed to Norwegian
accession to the Geneva Agreement on February 20, 2003.
Acapo advises the Norwegian business sector to avail of the system to protect
the design of their products, both in Norway and abroad. Such registrations will
secure a competitive edge and future profits.