Better Protection for Industrial Designs through International Cooperation
Guest blog by Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs Shira Perlmutter
Representatives from the USPTO and the intellectual property offices of the European Union, Japan, Korea, and China—which together account for more than 90 percent of the world’s design patent filings—convened in Beijing, China, November 1–2, 2016, for the second annual meeting of the Industrial Design Forum, or ID5.
The ID5 was formed in December 2015, with its inaugural meeting held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Its goal is to improve consistency in registration policies for industrial designs and to facilitate progress on a range of matters that stakeholders around the world would like to see addressed. These include grace periods, partial designs, graphical user interfaces and icon designs, implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Digital Access Service, and the standardization of design representations.
Because these offices handle such a large proportion of global industrial design filings, the ID5 forum can serve as an incubator for developing innovative responses to existing or future developments in the design area. Its work will promote greater efficiency, consistency, and effectiveness across the globe—both for applicants seeking protection for their industrial designs and for the offices tasked with administering the system.
The ID5 partners took an important step forward in November when they approved 12 projects aimed at studying key aspects of industrial design practice in each of their jurisdictions and coming up with concrete, user-friendly deliverables. The USPTO is co-leading four of the projects, including those on grace periods, partial designs, emerging technological designs, and the implementation of the WIPO’s Digital Access Service.
The ID5 partners also signed a joint statement affirming their commitment to further the development of improved industrial design protection systems, and unveiled the ID5 website, which will serve as a source of information for the public on ID5 projects, statistics, and events.
Since its launch a year ago, the ID5 forum has already proven to be a successful vehicle for enhancing the global industrial design framework. With industrial design having an ever-increasing importance in innovation, business, and trade, the USPTO’s work with its ID5 partners will enable a coordinated effort to address whatever challenges that owners and users of designs may confront.