Originally posted 2015-03-04 09:22:42.
Intellectual property is a vital necessity for the success of any product or company. Whether protection in trademark, patent, copyright, or trade secret, individuals or corporations need to ensure that their branding and unique designs will not be diluted by counterfeiters or copycats. The fashion industry especially has struggled with the issue of intellectual property as the Court views clothing as more for functional purposes than a distinguished product. Changes in the U.S. patent law provide great opportunity for fashion designers to protect their designs not only in the United States, but also all over the world.
Before the change in the U.S. law, companies selling products globally had to file a design patent in multiple different countries. A design patent describes the visual ornamental characteristic, such as the shape and surface ornamentation, in the product. The United States took the step to join the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, allowing for streamlined design patent filings in many countries that have adopted the agreement with only a single design patent application. After May 13, 2015, the new law will go into effect and individuals will have the option to file the application under the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Upon application, the applicant will obtain protection in any country that is a member of the Hague Agreement. According to the new law, one application can contain up to a hundred designs and the numbers of years the patent will be in effect will extend from fourteen years to fifteen years. The entrance of the United States into the Hague Agreement influenced many other countries to follow suit: South Korea, Japan, Canada, China, and Russia.
If you have any questions about international business, reach out to AMD LAW, www.amdlawgroup.com
Key words: design, patent, protection, global, Hague Agreement, U.S. law, and streamlined