On December 18, President Obama signed a bill (U.S. Bill S.3486, referred to as the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012) that will allow U.S. citizens and residents to participate in an existing international filing system for design patent applications known as the Hague Agreement. The system is similar to the well-known international filing system (the Patent Cooperation Treaty, often referred to as PCT) for utility patent applications. The new law will not be effective until December 2013.
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