Obama Signs Legislation to Implement Hague Agreement, Patent Law Treaty
The Patent Law Treaty limits and synchronizes patent application filing formalities among signatory countries. Under the Hague system, U.S. applicants can apply for design patent protection in all member countries by filing a single application at the Patent and Trademark Office.
The Congressional Budget Office issued a cost estimate Oct. 15 (85 PTCJ 66, 11/16/12). According to the CBO, the legislation “would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.”
The CBO also stated that an anticipated increase in international applications for design patents would not significantly increase the PTO’s work load. And, to the extent that there might be some more costs, the PTO is now authorized, since passage of the America Invents Act, to adjust fee schedules in order to account for them.
The Senate approved the legislation Sept. 22 (84 PTCJ 902, 9/28/12) and the House Dec. 5 (85 PTCJ 165, 12/7/12).
The bill was passed by both houses without controversy.
By Tony Dutra