The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 has resulted in new rules being proposed for implementing the Act.
On October 21, 2013, 78 FR 62367 was published as a final rule to implement the Patent Law Treaty, which generally does not affect design patents, but does provide restoring the right of priority after the 6-month period to claim priority, within 2 months from the expiration of the 6-month period and upon grant of a petition that shows the delay was unintentional.
On November 29, 2013, 78 FR 71869 was published as a proposed rule to implement the Hague Agreement. Of note, according to the proposed rule:
- an international design application is a "national application" or a "nonprovisional application" under 37 CFR 1.9;
- an international design application can include two or more designs, but there is a requirement for only one independent and distinct design - 37 CFR 1.1021 and 1.1064;
- a CPA cannot be filed in an international design application under 37 CFR 1.53;
- an international design application will typically publish at 6 months from filing/registration, but publication can be deferred or immediate publication can be requested; and
- the publication of the international design application will trigger access to an unpublished application (i.e., an unpublished/unexamined US design application related to the international design application) - 37 CFR 1.14.
The comment deadline date for providing written comments regarding the proposed rules is January 28, 2014.