Industrial Designs Get Their Own Club: USPTO Hosts the Inaugural ID5 Meeting

Author: Elizabeth D. Ferrill
Editor:  Adriana L. Burgy

As with the TM5 and the IP5 before them, the five largest offices that issue design rights have joined together as the Industrial Design 5, also known as the ID5.  On December 3 and 4, 2015, the USPTO hosted the first meeting along with representatives from the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) (part of the European Union), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).  Collectively, these five offices issue more than 80% of the world’s industrial design rights, including both design patents and design registrations.  Representatives from WIPO also participated as Observers.  The offices released an Agreed Statement on December 3 outlining the framework for ID5.

From this meeting, ID5 agreed to pursue thirteen different projects in furtherance of the goal of developing shared procedures between the Offices.  For instance, ID5 plans to pursue projects involving the compilation of statistics, creating a catalog of design protection eligibility, and investigating electronic priority document exchange.  Moreover, KIPO agreed to host an ID5 website, modeled after the TM5 website that it currently hosts.  OHIM also announced that it plans to expand its DesignView database to include design filings from all ID5 offices.  ID5 also plans to undertake a comparative study of priority requirements, grace periods, and the acceptability of partial designs between the five Offices.  Finally, ID5 plans to discuss the protection of emerging designs, including static, animated, and 3D graphical user interfaces.

At the invited User’s Group on December 4, the Office representatives reported that the first meeting had a promising spirit of cooperation.  In that same spirit, the Users’ representatives stated that they generally appreciated the efforts of the ID5 offices to work towards cataloging the differences between office practices and working towards eventual harmonization, especially in those areas that often “trap” unsuspecting applicants and may result in the unintended loss of rights.

The next ID5 meeting will be hosted in Fall 2016 by SIPO in Beijing, China, around the same time as the TM5 meeting.



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