Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) June 17, 2014 - After more than 13 years of efforts from lawmakers and patent officials, the United States is on the verge of becoming a member nation of the Hague Agreement.
The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, also known as the “Hague system,” allows for the registration of industrial designs in all participating nations with a single application and a single set of fees. Los Angeles patent attorney Pejman Yedidsion said he looked forward to the change.
“The Hague Agreement has been working very well in its member nations for quite a while,” Yedidsion noted, “and I know that many U.S. inventors and patent attorneys are eager to participate as well. They will soon be able to dramatically reduce the repetitive work of registering industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions.”
The United States was one of the original signatories to the Geneva Act for the Hague Agreement in 1999. However, the U.S. Senate did not ratify the treaty until 2007, and the bill to implement the treaty was not made law until December 2012. That law is expected to take effect soon.
Under the Hague Agreement, applications for registration of industrial designs are filed directly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Applications may be written in English, French or Spanish. A single application may include up to 100 different designs as long as they all fall under the same class of the International Classification of Industrial Designs.
In order to qualify to use the Hague system, the applicant must be associated with a member nation by nationality, domicile, habitual residence, or a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment.
“First, WIPO's International Bureau examines the application to make sure it meets the formal requirements,” Yedidsion explained. “Then, intellectual property offices in the member nations evaluate the design to make sure it meets their domestic criteria for registration. If it does not, they notify WIPO of their refusal. The international registration then goes into effect in all nations that do not issue a refusal, and the design receives the same protection as it would if registered separately in each jurisdiction.”
The initial duration of the international registration is five years, and it may be extended in five-year increments up to the maximum duration permitted in each jurisdiction.
Brooks Acordia IP Law, P.C.
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