A diplomatic conference is a meeting of representatives of governments that are negotiating the terms of an international agreement. On 21 July 2022, the WIPO General Assembly voted to convene a diplomatic conference to conclude and adopt a Design Law Treaty before the end of 2024. On 9 Oct 2023, the Preparatory Committee of the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude and Adopt a Design Law Treaty agreed to hold the conference in Riyadh between 11 and 22 Nov 2023 (see Saudi Arabia Set to Host 2024 Diplomatic Conference to Conclude Design Law Treaty PR/2023/909 9 Oct 2023).
Although countries that belong to the World Trade Organization are bound by arts 25 and 26 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS") to protect new or original industrial designs for at least 10 years and the Hague Agreement facilitates international design registration, the requirements for registration vary considerably from country to country. The Design Law Treaty is intended to iron out those differences. A draft of the proposed Treaty and its Regulations have been circulating for some time. According to the WIPO press release,, the Treaty should make it significantly easier for designers and small and medium-sized enterprises to register their designs.
The new Treaty coincides with the Commission's proposals for a new Designs Directive to replace Directive 98/71/EC and amendments to the Community Design Regulation which I shall discuss in detail in NIPC News and IP after Brexit.,
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