I’ll be speaking at the 2015 annual meeting of the National Association of Patent Practitioners. The meeting is July 11-14 in Denver.
This weekend and your filings at WIPO
This weekend is when Americans (well, most Americans) change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time. This makes a big difference if you are going to e-file something at WIPO or fax-file something at WIPO.
Countdown to the Hague Agreement in the US
Here is a countdown to the date (May 13) when the US will belong to the Hague Agreement.
US makes more progress toward the Hague Agreement
The Hague Agreement is the international filing system for design protection that corresponds to the PCT filing system for international utility patent protection and the Madrid filing system for international trademark protection. The progress of the United States toward membership and participation in the Hague Agreement has been slow and at times tortuous. As I blogged here, President Clinton signed the treaty in 1999. Many years passed before the Senate ratified it in 2007. Congress needed to pass enabling legislation which finally happened in 2012. Next the USPTO needed to promulgate proposed Rules, which it did in 2013. The next important step was for the United States to deposit an “instrument of accession” to the Agreement with WIPO.
Interestingly somehow the United States and Japan managed to coordinate their efforts, and the two countries deposited their instruments of accession on the same day, Friday, February 13, 2015. You can see WIPO’s press release here. And at right is a photograph (courtesy of WIPO) showing the historic event. You can see US Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto handing the Instrument of Accession to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
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USPTO adds Hague functionality to PAIR
The USPTO has made some preparations for the eventual accession by the USPTO to the Hague Agreement. One preparation is picking the new “series code” (my blog here) that USPTO will use to denote that a US application came from Hague. Another preparation is a new search functionality in PAIR, as you may see in the screen shot.
New USPTO “series code” for Hague Agreement cases
Those whose practice includes “inbound” Madrid Protocol trademark applications are accustomed to the series code “79”. When you see a USPTO application number that starts with “79” you know that it is a trademark application number and that it came to the USPTO from the International Bureau of WIPO. Someone who filed a Madrid Protocol trademark application (in a place other than the USPTO) must have designated the US.
Now the USPTO has picked the series code that it will use for Hague Agreement applications.
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US progress toward the Hague Agreement
(See update posting here.)
The Hague system, as most readers know, is the one-stop shopping system for filing applications to protect industrial designs around the world. It is somewhat of a counterpart in the industrial design world to the PCT (for utility patents) and Madrid Protocol (for trademarks). What is the progress of the US toward the Hague system? When will people in the US actually be able to file Hague applications? When will people around the world be able to designate the US when they file Hague applications? Continue reading “US progress toward the Hague Agreement”
Canada takes a step toward Hague and PLT
The Canadian parliament has taken up a bill which, if enacted, would permit Canada to join the Hague Agreement (one-stop filing of applications for protection of industrial designs) and the Patent Law Treaty.
There has also been some progress in Canada toward eventually joining the Madrid Protocol (one-stop filing of applications for protection of trademarks).
For those filing at WIPO, a time zone change
The US and Europe do not agree on when to start and when to stop Daylight Saving Time. The US started DST on March 9, 2014, and Europe started DST today, March 30. This is important for US filers who file things at WIPO.
Continue reading “For those filing at WIPO, a time zone change”