Washington - The U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a proposal to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the provisions of Title I of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 ("PLTIA"). The law, which serves as the implementing legislation for both the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs ("the Hague Agreement") and the Patent Law Treaty, will allow applicants to file a single international design application to acquire global protection.
When the Hague Agreement comes into effect in the United States, U.S. applicants will be able to file a single application for protection of an industrial design which will have effect in more than 40 territories.
"The ability for American industrial design creators to file a single, English-language application will allow small and medium sized businesses to easily and swiftly acquire design protection in multiple markets," said Commissioner for Patents Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino.
The new provisions will standardize formal requirements for international design applications; establish the USPTO as an office through which international design applications may be filed; provide for substantive examination by the Office of international design applications that designate the United States; provide provisional rights for published international design applications that designate the United States; and set the patent term for design patents issuing from both national design applications and international design applications designating the United States at 15 years from the date of patent grant.
Further information about the proposed rules and instructions for submitting comments may be found in the Federal Register Notice.
For non-press inquiries about the proposed rules, contact Boris Milef, Senior PCT Legal Examiner, Office of PCT Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, at (571) 272-3288.
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