The Korean Intellectual Property Office joined the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs on March 31, and marked the occasion with a ceremony at the World Intellectual Property Organization, according to IP Watch.
The Hague Agreement will come into effect in South Korea in July 2014. WIPO Legal Counsel Edward Kwakwa said, "The Republic of Korea is a big fish in the IP sector, and its move will encourage other big fishes to follow suit."
The accession may inspire other major countries to join, like the U.S. and Japan, that aren't yet members of the agreement. The U.S., Japan and China "have been preparing for accession to the Hague Agreement, and members may soon be able to enjoy the benefit of international applications through the Hague System to protect their industrial designs in the major global economies," the statement read.
Park Seong-Joon, the director general of the Trademark and Design Examination Bureau at KIPO, said, "Korea's accession could serve as a catalyst for consolidating KIPO's partnership with Francis Gurry, the recently re-elected director general of WIPO."