China ranked ninth in the number of international applications worldwide in 2018, growing 142 percent from a year earlier. However, among the top 20 applicants, China is the only one staying outside the Hague system.

The CNIPA began negotiations with the WIPO in May on China joining the Hague Agreement, which is a treaty that helps international registrations of industrial designs. Under the agreement, an industrial design will be protected by all contracting parties through a single application.

Perks of membership include avoiding different currencies to pay fees, submitting one international application in one language such as English, French or Spanish, and communication with the International Bureau of WIPO.

The Hague system allows an application to contain up to 100 different designs as long as they belong to the same category. The system is characterized by simplicity, economy, efficiency and flexibility.

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