Investigate implications of joining the Hague Agreement.

At a glance

Policy ID: 36

Status: On hold

Priority: Medium

Design rights ACIP

Issue summary

In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that Australia should commence an investigation into the implications of joining the Hague Agreement. The Productivity Commission's 2016 report in its 2016 report into Australia's IP arrangements endorsed ACIP's recommendation.

The Hague Agreement may be becoming more attractive for countries and designs applicants alike, since the number of Contracting Parties increases each year, with a number of key trading partners (to Australia) recently acceding, or preparing to accede, to the Geneva Act 1999 (latest revision) in the near future.

IP Australia has completed an economic analysis.


  • Policy development 04-Sept-2017
  • Consultation 29-Mar-2018 to 31May-2018
  • Policy development 1-Jun-2018 to 19-Dec-2018
  • On hold 20-Dec-2018
  • Priority reviewed August 2020


IP Australia undertook an economic analysis which explores the costs and benefits to Australia of joining the Hague Agreement. From 29 March to 31 May 2018, IP Australia conducted public consultation on the Hague Agreement economic analysis report. Following the consultation IP Australia considered all submissions and published a response to the submissions on 12 December 2018.

The response includes revised impacts of Australia joining the Hague Agreement for designs. The response concludes that the quantified costs currently outweigh the quantified benefits. However it also acknowledges that other unquantified benefits exist. The economic analysis forms only part of the evidence base for consideration of whether Australia should join the Hague Agreement. IP Australia will continue to monitor the Hague Agreement landscape, including the impact of recent and future members joining.

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