The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on February 13, 2015 that the United States has deposited its instrument of ratification to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement). By depositing the instrument of ratification, the United States fulfilled the last requirement for membership in the Hague Union. The treaty will take effect on May 13, 2015.
As discussed in our January 2, 2013 Special Report (entitled “United States Implements Treaties Facilitating Design and Utility Patent Filings”), once the Hague Agreement enters into force in the United States, U.S. applicants will be able to apply for design protection in each of the 64 member territories participating in the Hague Agreement through the filing of just one standardized English-language international design application in the USPTO. In addition, international design applicants in other participating territories will be able to designate the United States in an international design application.
The Final Rules governing USPTO processing and examination of international design applications filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement will soon be published in the Federal Register. Once the Final Rules have published, Oliff PLC will issue a Special Report discussing the new procedures and their impact on design patent procedures.
*The Final Rules published on April 2, 2015. To view the new rules, please click here. Oliff PLC has issued a Special Report, USPTO ISSUES FINAL RULES IMPLEMENTING THE HAGUE AGREEMENT, discussing the new rules, as well as our recommendations for addressing them.