USPTO Public Forum on the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a public forum on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, from 9 am to noon ET to discuss proposed changes to the agency’s practices to implement the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012. Advance registration is required. A live webcast will be available.
The new changes will give U.S. industrial designers the option of filing a single international industrial design application in a single language with the USPTO to obtain coverage in more than 60 foreign jurisdictions worldwide. Currently, U.S. industrial designers must file separate applications in each country or with each intergovernmental organization, such as the EU, to obtain legal protections. Industrial designs protect the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of a range of products, including computers, mobiles devices, technical instruments, and smart-home appliances, that make them more usable and appealing.
The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 implements two international treaties: the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and the Patent Law Treaty. The treaties are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The USPTO intends the forum to provide an overview of the major changes to:
- 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 USPTO 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.
Additional information about the public forum on January 14 and how to access the live webcast will be posted on the USPTO website.