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Leahy, Grassley Introduce Legislation to Implement Patent Law Treaties That Will Help U.S. Businesses Obtain Patent Protections Overseas


Location: Washington DC

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation today to implement two patent law treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets by reducing obstacles for obtaining patent protection overseas.

"In this global economy, it is not enough to have an effective domestic patent system; we must also help American inventors and businesses to protect their inventions and thrive in markets around the world," said Leahy following the bill's introduction.

The Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs allows American industrial design creators to apply for design protection in all member countries by filing a single, standardized, English-language application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The Patent Law Treaty limits the formalities different countries can require in patent applications, removing barriers that currently burden U.S. patent holders. The treaties, which were signed under President Clinton and submitted to the Senate by President George W. Bush, received unanimous support when the Senate voted to approve ratification in 2007. Enactment of the legislation will allow the State Department to ratify the treaties so they can go into effect.

"American businesses and inventors will benefit from harmonized applications, reducing the cost of doing business and encouraging U.S. innovators to protect and export their products internationally," said Leahy. "I urge the Senate to act quickly on this final step so that the treaties can be ratified and American innovators and businesses can benefit from them as U.S. products continue to thrive on the global stage."

"The patent system needs to keep up with the 21st century, global economy," said Grassley. "This legislation will help facilitate protection of American inventors' research, engineering and creativity in the international arena."

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