On March 1, 2013, Teresa Stanek Rea (Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO) addressed the implementation of U.S. participation in the Hague Agreement on the Director’s Forum blog in "A New Chapter for Protection of Industrial Design for the United States."

The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012, signed by President Obama, serves as the implementing legislation for both the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (“the Hague Agreement”) and the Patent Law Treaty.

Under the Hague Agreement, industrial design patent filings will no longer be required for each jurisdiction.  Instead, a single English-language application can be filed directly with the World Intellectual Property Organization or indirectly with the USPTO, and can lead to protection in multiple designated member countries, including the European Union.

The new process is expected to result in cost savings and to facilitate design protection in multiple markets by small and medium sized businesses.