China has joined WIPO's Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, marking a major development for the International Design System, as well as the Marrakesh Treaty, bringing one of the world's great cultural and literary traditions into the Marrakesh community.
WIPO Director General Daren Tang received China's accession document to the Marrakesh Treaty from Vice Minister Zhang Jianchun, National Copyright Administration of China, and China's accession document for the Hague System from Commissioner Shen Changyu, China National Intellectual Property Administration.
Chinese residents filed a total of 795,504 designs in 2020, representing some 55% of the worldwide total. China's entry into the Hague System will make it easier and cheaper for these designers to protect and promote their work overseas.
China's accessions came during Mr. Tang's trip to China to attend the opening of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, where he joined UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the President of the UN General Assembly and other heads of international organizations at these Olympic ceremonies.
China is the most populous country in the world, and the birthplace of one of the world's great literary and cultural traditions. Joining the Marrakesh Treaty means that the over 17 million[i] person blind and visually impaired community in China will now have even greater access to copyrighted works. It will also increase the cross-border movement of Chinese language content in formats accessible to members of this community in other parts of the world.
On China's accession to the Hague System, Mr Tang said: "From the earliest ornamental products made by our Stone Age ancestors to the modern day haute couture we see on runways across the globe, designers enrich, excite and enliven us. Designers are also playing a bigger role in shaping the look and feel of the products we use every day – from household products and mobile phones to virtual designs. China's accession to the Hague System means that the design community in China will find it easier to protect and bring their designs out of China, and overseas designers will find it easier to move their designs into one of the world's largest and most-dynamic markets."
On China's ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, Mr. Tang said: "China has one of the world's oldest and richest continuing literary and cultural traditions. With China's entry into the Marrakesh Treaty, people who are blind or have other visual impairments will benefit from having greater access to this rich and continuing tradition. And the blind and visually impaired community in China, which is estimated at over 17 million, will benefit more easily from accessible versions of foreign-produced texts. WIPO's Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), which works with NGOs to convert books into formats accessible by the visually impaired, will work with stakeholders to add a strong collection of books in Chinese to its current offering of 730,000 books in 80 languages."