House Approves Leahy-Grassley Legislation To Implement Patent Law Treaties To Help U.S. Businesses Overseas

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, December 5, 2012) – The House of Representatives Wednesday passed 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, sending the bill to the White House for signature. 

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.

Leahy said “In today’s 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.  I thank Senator Grassley for joining me in introducing this legislation, and I thank Congressmen Smith, Conyers, Goodlatte and Watt for their work moving it through the House.  I am pleased that, with the President’s signature, these treaties can be implemented so that American inventors and businesses can benefit from them, and continue to succeed on the global stage.”

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