Design patents continue to grow in importance for many industries. If your company designs tangible products or packages, there is a new, efficient way to seek international protection for design features.
On May 13, 2015, the U.S. will become a member of the Hague Agreement for Designs, which will provide a streamlined solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 64 territories through a single application. Substantive examination of all design patent applications will remain unchanged.
Major changes include:
International design protection might provide substantial competitive benefits. While there are many advantages to this new system, it must be done with consideration to the intricacies of U.S. patent law. Now is the time to start thinking about your products' new surface decorations, ornamental configurations, decorative coatings and packaging. Adding design features to existing products can help distinguish your products in a competitive market.
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