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Monday
Dec102012

Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012

S. 3486 (the "Act") has passed the House and the Senate, and awaits signature by the President.  

The summary of this Act reads, with emphasis added:

Amends federal patent law to implement the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Treaty) and the Patent Law Treaty. (Both treaties were ratified by the Senate on December 7, 2007.) Standardizes application procedures to be consistent with other member countries.

Of note:

1) The Act will amend 35 USC 173 to change the term of a design patent from 14 years to 15 years from the date of issuance.

2) The Act will add 35 USC 381-390, of which 390 provides for the publication of the international design application, and will amend 35 USC 154(d) to expand Provisional Rights to a published international design application.

3) Under the Hague Agreement and the Geneva Act, WIPO states the "international application may include up to 100 different designs.  All designs must, however, belong to the same class of the International Classification of Industrial Designs (the Locarno Classification)." Although not specifically set forth in the Act, it is expected that International Design Applications filed under this Act will also be able to be filed with up to 100 different designs belonging to the same Locarno Classification.

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