Design abroad

A design registration helps protect a unique design against copying.

  • Are your markets global?

  • Is your design used in several countries?

The answer to international design protection may typically be filing an international design application under the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement currently covering 61 member states.

International design application

An international design application is an umbrella application which may designate all or some chosen countries. Currently, there are 61 member states and more are added every year.


A simple and flexible system requiring only one application. Centralised renewal for all states.

Who may use an international application?

An application for an international registration of designs can be used by any citizen or company who is domiciled in a member state. It is however a requirement that you are either a national of, are domiciled in or have an industrial or commercial establishment in a state party to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement. Denmark is a member state.

Geographical scope of protection

An international design registration covers the countries chosen by the application from the beginning.

Prosecution of the international registration

A design can be protected as an international design to the extent that it is novel and has individual character. A design is considered as being novel if there has been no identical design previously known to the public.


In order for the application to be considered as having been filed, it must meet some basic formal requirements. The application has to be filed in English or French, contain information about the applicant, reproduction of the design, and an indication of the product the design will be used for. It is also required to indicate for which countries the application is to be designated. When the formal requirements have been met, the design is registered in WIPO's international design database and published.

When the designation has been published, a copy of the publication is sent to the design authorities in the countries which have been designated in the application. The design application is then examined under the same rules as national applications. Each designated country has the right to refuse the application if it does not meet the national formalities requirements. If the design in the international application does not meet the national requirements of a particular country, the national design authority of that country may refuse, partially or totally, the effect of the international registration in that particular country. Such a refusal will not have any effect on the protection of the design in the other countries designated in the international application.

Duration of protection

The registration period for an international design is 5 years. The registration may be renewed for additional periods of five years each upon payment of the necessary fees for a total term of 15 years from the date of filing.

For those designated countries where the national law issues protection for more than 15 years for a design, the protection period for the design will be in accordance with the design law of the country in question.

National applications

It is also possible to apply for design protection nationally outside Denmark.

Through our extensive network of associated abroad, we are able to help you obtain protection of your design abroad.


Contact our design team for information and non-binding meeting to discuss a relevant strategy for international protection of your design.

Relevant products"Design abroad"

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