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Reduction in official fees for USA design patent protection via the Hague system

A reduction in official fees has been announced for design patent protection sought in the USA, which is obtained via the international Hague design registration system, which is operated by WIPO in Geneva. This follows our earlier article which outlined a similar reduction in official fees at the USPTO for smaller-sized applicants seeking design patent (or utility/plant patent) protection in the USA.

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For further details, please refer to our article “Good news from the USPTO: reduction in official fees for smaller-sized applicants”, published 13 February 2023.

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For Hague design registrations applied for on or after 01 May 2023, for smaller-sized applicants, the small and micro entity status discounts which can be applied to the designation fees (which are payable to cover the USA in an international Hague design registration) will increase from the current levels of 50% and 75%, to 60% and 80% respectively.

For applicants seeking to declare themselves as a small entity for the USA as part of a Hague design registration, this can be done by selecting the small entity radio button from the initial application form. For those seeking the more heavily discounted micro entity status, the relevant micro entity status radio button from the application form should be selected instead. This should be provided with an accompanying (signed) micro entity certification form PTO/SB/15A or PTO/SB/15B, which is submitted as part of the initial Hague registered design application.

Further information as to when these small and micro entity discounts can be applied is as outlined in our earlier article, noted above.

In any case, this announcement will be extremely welcome news to smaller-sized entities seeking design patent protection in the USA via the Hague design registration system, in so far as the percentage discounts available under this route will soon be harmonised with those already in place for national USA design patent applications applied for at the USPTO directly.

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