Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs

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.

IP Australia has completed an economic analysis.

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.


  • Policy development 4 September 2017
  • Consultation 29 March 2018 to 31 May 2018
  • Policy development 1 June 2018 to 19 December 2018
  • On hold 20 December 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.

In 2021, as part of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, Australia agreed in principle to make all reasonable efforts to join the Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs in due course.

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