The UK has completed ratification of an agreement making it easier for intellectual property owners to register a design in multiple jurisdictions.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said today that the government had ratified the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Hague Agreement. The agreement allows applicants to register a design in 67 countries through one application.

UK businesses have had access to the agreement since 2008 through EU membership. However, this would have expired after Brexit.

According to the IPO, businesses will have a greater choice in how they register their designs internationally and will be able to save money on registrations, protect their IP more efficiently and encourage non-UK owners of designs to register their rights in the UK.

Tim Moss, chief executive of the IPO, said: ‘The UK’s decision to join the Hague system in our national capacity will give businesses a greater choice in how to protect, manage and register their designs internationally, and save them money. Our membership of this international system may also encourage non-UK owners of designs to register their rights in the UK for basing manufacturing, distribution or licensing of their IP.’

Stephen Jones, president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, said: ‘Protection of designs is important for the creative and innovative industries and the increased choice and flexibility available for obtaining that protection will be beneficial to businesses operating internationally.’

The UK instrument of ratification was deposited yesterday and will come into effect on 13 June.