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Prosecuting International Designs in the United States

USA Patent Lawyer Reviews Prosecuting International Designs in the United States

The entry of the United States into the Hague System for filing international design patent applications through WIPO in 2015 has resulted in the US having two different sets of rules for prosecuting US design patents.  The first set applies to all designs filed originally in the United States, including those claiming foreign priority, and the second set for international designs filed with WIPO that designate the US.

While both types of designs end up issuing as US design patents, they are treated rather differently by the USPTO.  For example, in Hague designs, one can disclaim portions of the design by placing them in a different color or by broken lines.  In regular US applications, only broken lines are allowed.  The use of color instead of broken lines makes it easy to disclaim portions of designs that are shown in photographs, as opposed to having to place broken lines around portions of the photograph.  Interestingly, the regular US rules apply to divisional applications filed based on an international design, so that the divisional applications may issue looking quite different from the parent application.

Another difference between the two types of designs is that international applications are published six months after filing, while regular US design application are not published until the patent issues.   The full set of rules for filing and prosecution of International Designs under the Hague system can be found in chapter 2900 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.

Review your design with an experienced USA patent lawyer

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