Viet Nam joins the Hague Agreement

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Recently I blogged that Samoa joined the Hague Agreement on October 2, 2019 and that Israel joined the Hague Agreement on October 3, 2019.  Somehow I overlooked that just a few days earlier, on September 30, 2019, Viet Nam joined the Hague Agreement.

The Hague system will enter into force for Viet Nam on December 30, 2019.

As of December 30, 2019, companies and designers from Viet Nam 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 December 30, 2019, those located outside of Viet Nam will be able to seek design protection in Viet Nam through the Hague System.

I had blogged on October 21, 2017 that Viet Nam was getting ready to join the Hague Agreement and indeed now it has happened.

Viet Nam joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on March 10, 1993 and joined the Madrid Protocol on July 11, 2006.   Viet Nam thus completes the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Viet Nam is “VN”.

Samoa joins the Hague Agreement

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On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 Samoa deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Hague Agreement.

The Agreement will enter into force in Samoa on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

This brings to 72 the number of contracting parties to the Hague Agreement.

As of January 2, 2020, companies and designers from Samoa 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 January 2, 2020, those located outside of Samoa will be able to seek design protection in Samoa through the Hague System.

Samoa will join the Patent Cooperation Treaty on January 2, 2020 and joined the Madrid Protocol on March 4, 2019.   Samoa will thus complete the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Samoa is “WS”.

Israel joins the Hague system


On Thursday, October 3, 2019 Israel deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Hague Agreement.

The Agreement will enter into force in Israel on Friday, January 3, 2020.

I blogged back on October 21, 2017 that Israel was going to join Hague Real Soon Now, and finally it has happened.

This brings to 73 the number of contracting parties to the Hague Agreement.

As of January 3, 2020, 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 January 3, 2020, those located outside of Israel will be able to seek design protection in Israel through the Hague System.

Israel joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on June 1, 1996 and joined the Madrid Protocol on September 1, 2010.   Israel has thus completed the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Israel is “IL”.

e-filing at WIPO — back to normal

For the past three weeks the situation for e-filing at WIPO has been that the local time to e-file so as to get a same-day filing date in Switzerland has been different from usual.  But today the people in Switzerland have turned their clocks forward.  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 three weeks the answer was 5PM.)

Whither Daylight Saving Time?

More than five hours have passed since my blog posting that points out that right now you probably have an extra hour for e-filing of stuff at the International Bureau of WIPO.  Why do you have this extra hour?  You have this extra hour because probably you are in the US and you set your clocks forward.  And (this is the important part) the folks in Switzerland did not pick today to set their clocks forward.  (They will set their clocks forward in about three weeks, on March 31.)

Anyway, during this past five hours I sort of figured that at least one alert reader would have posted a comment about the imminent demise of Daylight Saving Time.  Yet, astonishingly, this has not happened!  So I will now discuss the imminent demise of Daylight Saving Time. Continue reading “Whither Daylight Saving Time?”

Daylight saving time and WIPO

Keep in mind that Switzerland will turn off daylight saving time today.  Those who are filing documents at the International Bureau — documents that need a same-day filing date — should check to make sure they know what time it is in Switzerland as of today.

For US filers, keep in mind that the US will not turn off DST today.  The US will turn off DST a week from now.

US filers who are getting ready to file a document at the IB should thus pay close attention during this next week to what time it is in Switzerland.

The practical effect for most US filers is that for the next week, you get an extra hour to e-file.  For example if you are in the Mountain Time Zone, normally you rush to file by 4PM if need a same-day filing date at the IB.  But for the next week you can file as late as 5PM and you will still get a same-day filing date at the IB.

Those who are e-filing in ePCT can readily check any time to see what time it is in Geneva, because at the top of any ePCT user screen it says what time it is in Geneva.  Here is a screen shot.  For example right now it is 4:44 AM Mountain Time and as you can see it is 11:44 AM in Geneva.

What filing date you get when you e-file at RO/IB?

What we are all accustomed to is that when we are picking a Receiving Office for the filing of a new PCT application, a substantial drawback of RO/IB is that we have to worry about the time zone.  For the US-based filer who is selecting between RO/US and RO/IB, the typical difference is six hours.  A filer in the Mountain Time Zone, for example, who is rushing to get a same-day filing date would need to e-file by 10PM if e-filing in RO/US but would typically need to e-file by 4PM if e-filing in RO/IB.

What I did not realize, until quite recently, is that things are quite different when one is e-filing a Hague application (in other words, an international design application rather than an international patent application). Continue reading “What filing date you get when you e-file at RO/IB?”

Latest news on Mexico and Hague Agreement

These days it is pretty interesting to keep track of the growth of the Hague Agreement (the international filing system for industrial designs).  Since a year ago there had been whispers (blog article October 21, 2017) that Mexico was going to join the Hague Agreement Real Soon Now.  And then came the new successor NAFTA agreement (see blog article of October 2, 2018) which sets forth that Mexico must join Hague by no later than the date of entry into force of the new NAFTA agreement.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton

Anyway just now I was delighted to hear from Rich Stockton, who is chair of the AIPLA Industrial Designs Committee, about this particular topic.  He reports that he met recently with some higher-up folks at the Mexican patent office.  They told him that they expect the Mexican legislature will approve the implementing legislation during the current session and that no other major legislative steps remain other than depositing the instrument of accession (and then waiting the requisite three months for the accession to take effect).

He thus tells me that it looks to him as though Mexico will officially join the Hague system in the first few months of 2019.

This is, of course welcome news, and the accession of Mexico to the Hague system will be a welcome development.