The New Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (New Act) was completed at a Diplomatic Conference held at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on June 16 to July 6, 1999, in Geneva, Switzerland. The New Act achieved compromises that allowed countries with novelty examination design patent systems to join. The prior Hague Agreement was primarily arranged for countries with systems that did not require novelty examination before registration. The centralized filing features of the New Act allow use of one application form completed in English or French, with simplified regulations acceptable to each member country, and one payment currency. These features provide a major harmonization of procedures for filing design patent applications. It is expected that a large number of countries will adhere to this treaty
The text of the New Act and the related Regulations can be found on the WIPO web site at http://www.wipo.int/eng/main.htm --, under the Hague System Menu, listed with the Announcement on the December 1999 Seminar on the New Act. The New Act text can be downloaded in PDF form from the WIPO web site. Diplomatic Conference documents can be found on the WIPO web site under the Meetings Menu, Past Events listing.
The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (U. S. PTO) held a hearing prior to the Diplomatic Conference to determine public opinion on the proposed Draft Act. The hearing showed strong public support for the Draft Act. A Summary of the hearing written and oral testimony is provide on this web site.
A more detailed analysis of the New Act will be provided on this web site in the near future. Background information on the preparation for the Diplomatic Conference can be found on this web site and in cited articles.
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This page was last updated on October 21, 1999.