The childhood game of “Captain May I?” (Wikipedia article) irritated me greatly as a child. I had little patience for it. The premise of the game is that words do not mean what they seem to mean. In this game, a string of words which on its face is an instruction to take three steps forward does not actually count as an instruction to take three steps forward unless it is followed up by the query “Captain May I?” which is in turn followed by an automatic grant of permission by the “captain”. The conceit of the game is that any and all requests to the captain for such permission are automatically granted, so that after a few minutes of play one sort of assumes that because the requests are always granted, there should not really be a need to ask. But the “gotcha” in the game is that you must ask, even though the asking is pointless.
Today I was gobsmacked to learn that the USPTO plays “Captain May I?” with US designations of Hague Agreement applications (international design applications). If as a child you were to get tricked and forget to ask “Captain May I?” the consequences would merely be that you return to the starting line of the game. But as a design applicant if you get tricked and forget to ask “USPTO May I?” the consequence is, it seems, that you lose your priority claim. I am not making this up. Continue reading ““Captain May I?” in Hague Agreement applications”
Mexico joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on January 1, 1995 and joined the Madrid Protocol on February 19, 2013. Thus, with today’s participation Mexico achieves the trifecta of participation in all three international e-filing systems (patents, trademarks, and designs).
(This has still not been fixed as of June 10. I phoned the EBC to open another trouble ticket. The new ticket number is 1-696205867.)
I was quite surprised today to be reminded that a defect in Patentcenter that I had reported to the USPTO back in December of 2019 has still not been corrected. The defect is that it is impossible, in Patentcenter, to e-file any follow-on submission in any 35-series design patent application. You can see this in the screen shot at right. Continue reading “Patentcenter is broken for Hague cases”
On March 8 I blogged that US filers filing documents at the International Bureau needed to pay extra close attention to what time it is in Switzerland. The reason is that in the US, Daylight Saving Time happened on March 8. But did not happen on that day in Switzerland. This meant that for the past three weeks, a US-based filer in (for example) the Mountain Time zone would be able to e-file in the IB as late as 5PM and still get a same-day filing date. This differed from the usual drop-dead time of 4PM.
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when it is important to keep track of the fact that Daylight Saving Time is different in Switzerland from the way it is in the United States. This is important because you might be in the US, and you might be e-filing (or fax-filing) some document with the International Bureau of WIPO. Continue reading “Filing at the International Bureau and Daylight Saving Time”
Alert reader and experienced design practitioner Richard Stockton tipped me off that today, the Government of Mexico deposited its instrument of accession to the Hague Agreement. This brings the number of members of the Hague system to 74.
Mexico joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on January 1, 1995 and joined the Madrid Protocol on February 19, 2013. Thus, with today’s accession Mexico achieves the trifecta of membership in all three international e-filing systems (patents, trademarks, and designs). The Hague Agreement will enter into force in Mexico on June 6, 2020.
This means that from June 6, 2020, applicants in Mexico will be able to use the Hague system to protect their industrial designs. Likewise applicants in many dozens of countries around the world will from that date be able to use the Hague system to protect their designs in Mexico.
Now that Mexico has joined, perhaps the most eagerly awaited accession is that of China.
Yes, today is the day that the Hague Agreement enters into force in Israel. This is an important development for the Hague system, which is the international filing mechanism for protection of industrial designs.
As of today, companies and designers from Israel can begin using the Hague system to protect their industrial designs. The applicant can pursue protection in many countries through a single international application and a single set of fees.
Likewise from today, those located outside of Israel will be able to seek design protection in Israel through the Hague system.
It will be recalled that I blogged recently that Viet Nam deposited its instrument of accession to the Hague Agreement on September 30, 2019. Thus today is the day. The Hague Agreement enters into force for Viet Nam today.
Today Viet Nam achieves the trifecta, with membership in the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Madrid Protocol, and now the Hague Agreement.
For the past week the situation for e-filing at WIPO, for most people in the US, has been that the localtime to e-file so as to get a same-day filing date in Switzerland has been different from usual. (The reason for this is that a week ago, people in Switzerland turned their clocks back.) But as of today, people in the US have turned their clocks back. So things are back to normal.
For example if you are in the Mountain time zone, once again as of today you will be counting toward 4PM local time to get a same-day filing date in Switzerland. (For the past week the answer was 5PM.)