Legislation
By Patrick Miller
| November 11, 2014
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently updated its public and private Patent Application Information Retrieval (“PAIR”) graphical user interfaces to provide access to information regarding design applications filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement.  Such information will not be available, however, until entry into force of the Hague Agreement with respect to the U.S., which will occur three months after the U.S. deposits its instrument of ratification with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”), unless that instrument specifies a later date.

Generally speaking, the Hague Agreement establishes an international registration system which facilitates protection of industrial designs (i.e., design patents) in member countries and intergovernmental organizations (“Contracting Parties”) by way of a single, “standardized” international design application filed either directly with the International Bureau of WIPO or indirectly through an applicant’s Contracting Party.
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By Philippe Signore
| February 6, 2012
On February 2, 2012, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), members of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced H.R. 3889, a bill entitled the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act.

The proposed bill would create exceptions from acts of infringement under 35 USC 271 for certain component parts of motor vehicles.  Under the PARTS Act, with respect to a design patent that claims a component part of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured,it shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to make or offer to sell within the United States, or import into the United States, any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.”


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By Michel E. Bohn
| December 6, 2010
New protections for fashion designs may be on the horizon, as the Judiciary Committee has approved a modified version of the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (the IDPPPA) for consideration by the Senate.  The IDPPPA would amend § 1301 et sec. of the copyright statute (Title 17) to include provisions expressly protecting fashion designs.  Presently, Title 17 is limited to protecting the design of a vessel hull, which is defined as the frame or body of a vessel, including the deck.


The IDPPPA is being advocated as necessary to address the problem of piracy in the fashion design world.  Several well-known fashion designers, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the American Apparel and Footwear Association have thrown their weight behind the IDPPPA, with the Council of Fashion Designers hosting a website called www.stopfashionpiracy.com to promote and track its progress.


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