Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty
The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) amends the patent laws to implement the provisions of the Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) in title I, and the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) in title II. The PLT harmonizes and streamlines formal procedures pertaining to the filing and processing of patent applications. This notice proposes changes to the rules of practice for consistency with the changes in the PLT and title II of the PLTIA. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is implementing the Hague Agreement and title I of the PLTIA in a separate rulemaking. The notable changes in the PLT and title II of the PLTIA pertain to: (1) The filing date requirements for a patent application; (2) the restoration of patent rights via the revival of abandoned applications and acceptance of delayed maintenance fee payments; and (3) the restoration of the right of priority to a foreign application or the benefit of a provisional application via the permitting of a claim to priority to a foreign application or the benefit of a provisional application in a subsequent application filed within two months of the expiration of the twelve-month period (six- month period for design applications) for filing such a subsequent application.