16Mar 2015

How the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Will Help Protect U.S. Patent Applicants  by Silvia Salvadori, PhD.{2:15 minutes to read} On February 13, 2015, the United States ratified the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, concerning the registration of industrial design with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The Hague Agreement is a registration system which offers the possibility of obtaining protection for industrial designs in member countries and intergovernmental organizations. This protection may be sought by filing a single international application directly with the international bureau of the WIPO or, indirectly, through an applicant’s contracting party. One such party is now the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

The treaty in the United States will go into effect on May 13, 2015 and will apply to all international design applications filed on or after that date. It is important to know that all applications filed on or after May 13th will have a 15-year term instead of the current 14-year term of a U.S. Design patent.

Currently, U.S. applicants wishing to pursue protection for industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions must file individual applications in each of the jurisdictions where they seek to obtain protection of their design rights. As soon as the Hague Agreement takes effect, U.S. applicants will be able to file just one single international design application in order to obtain protection for their design in all 62 territories covered by the Agreement.

Thus, access to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement will provide applicants with the opportunity for improved efficiencies and cost savings in protecting their innovative designs anywhere in the new global economy.


Silvia Salvadori, PhDSilvia Salvadori, PhD.
(212) 897-1938