by Dennis Crouch
WIPO administers the WIPO-administered Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. In 2015, the US linked its design patent system with Hague — this gives U.S. designers easier access to global design rights; and non-U.S. applicants easier access to the U.S. market. This week, China announced that it is also joining the system. Even without being part of Hague, IP offices around the globe have received huge increases in Chinese -origin industrial design applications. For instance, 55% of global design applications filed in 2020 were by Chinese residents.
The first chart below shows the impact in the U.S. design patent system. For the first time in 2021, most new U.S. design patents originated from outside of the U.S.; with Chinese-origin design patents taking the clear quantitative lead over all other nations. The second chart shows the rise in design patents (and design patent applications) over the past several years.