President Barack Obama Tuesday signed into law legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to implement two patent law treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets.
The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 implements two treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets by reducing obstacles for obtaining patent protection overseas. 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. The House of Representatives approved the implementing legislation earlier this month, after the Senate passed the measure in September.
"With the President's signature today, American inventors and businesses now have a more streamlined way to protect their inventions and thrive in markets around the world," Leahy said. "This legislation, which I worked on with Senator Grassley, will reduce the cost of doing business and encourage U.S. innovators to protect and export their products internationally. I am proud of this bipartisan accomplishment and thank the President for his action to promptly sign it into law."