The process of filing design patent applications internationally became streamlined with the implementation of the Hague Agreement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in May, 2015. In place of filing individual applications in various foreign countries to maintain international design protection, U.S. applicants can now file a single standardized international design patent application.
The Hague Agreement is an international treaty that creates a uniform procedural system for filing a single international design patent application through the USPTO. After an inventor files the application, it is processed by participating Hague member countries. The procedural requirements are first reviewed by the International Bureau and then sent to each foreign country to examine compliance with the substantive criteria of each jurisdiction.
The modification of the filing rules has several significant advantages for those filing applications, such as:
Reduced costs. This process allows patent filers to avoid numerous administrative fees in multiple countries to enforce their patent rights. These costs may be associated with services for translation and local counsel in each foreign country, in addition to official filing and publication fees. Filers can also pay costs in a single currency.
Administrative simplicity. Future revisions of any pertinent information, such as the patent holder or corporate name, can be recorded in a single location and transaction. If an application is filed through the USPTO, a foreign license is automatically conferred to the patent filer. Thus, U.S. patent filers can receive international protection with an initial filing. These changes effectively simplify the application for, and ongoing management of, the patent registration.
Standardization of procedures. The shift to filing a single patent application reduces burdens on filers by establishing uniform standards for compliance. The application can be completed in a single language and the filer receives one effective filing date. Rather than having to comply with multiple renewal deadlines that vary from one jurisdiction to another, a uniform set of requirements exists under the new system.
Jew & Associates have vast experience in counseling clients on patent protection and registration. We provide practical advice on the procedural and strategic steps for defending your intellectual property rights. Contact us at (925) 463-3288 or visit Jew & Associates online to schedule a consultation.