[authors: Marshall J. Brown, Jeanne M. Gills]

On December 5, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act. The Senate previously passed the Act on September 22, 2012. Once in force, the Act will permit U.S. applicants to greatly streamline certain design patent and industrial design filings around the world, while also providing new benefits to owners of U.S. design patents.


The Act includes implementing legislation for the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs and the Patent Law Treaty, both of which were signed by the United States in 1999 and ratified by the U.S. Senate in 2007. The provisions of the Act are expected to go into effect approximately one year after enactment.