On December 18, 2012, the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) was signed into law. The PLTIA among other things sets forth provisions implementing the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs ("Hague Agreement"). These provisions (Title I of the PLTIA) take effect on May 13, 2015.
The Hague Agreement is an international registration system which offers the possibility of obtaining protection for up to 100 industrial designs in designated member countries and intergovernmental organizations (referred to as "Contracting Parties") by filing a single international application in a single language either directly with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or indirectly through the office of applicant's Contracting Party.
On or after May 13, 2015, U.S. applicants will be able to file international design applications through the USPTO as an office of indirect filing. In addition, U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15 year term from issuance.
Information concerning the Hague system, including geographic coverage and a guide for users, is available at WIPO's Web site http://www.wipo.int/hague/en/.
- Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-211 (enacted on December 18, 2012)
- Text of the 1999 Geneva Act, Common Regulations Under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement, and Administrative Instructions
- The President's Letter of Transmittal (November 13, 2006)
- Report on the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (November 27, 2007)
Sr. Legal Examiner
International Patent Legal Administration
Office of Policy and International Affairs