International Design Registration – USA and Japan join system
The International (The Hague) Design Registration system provides a convenient way of obtaining protection for a design in a range of countries. The usefulness of the system will soon be considerably enhanced, as from 13 May 2015 the Hague Agreement will take effect in respect of the USA and Japan. Filing a design application under the Hague Agreement is similar to filing a trade mark application under the Madrid Protocol, and effectively harmonizes basic filing requirements between member states.
Another important point to note is that for US design patent applications filed on or after 13 May 2015, the term of protection afforded to a granted design patent will increase from 14 years to 15 years.