Design Patents now have a term of 15 years instead of 14 years if issued from design applications filed on or after May 13, 2015.

This change was introduced by the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA), implementing the Hague Agreement. Article 17(3)(a) of the Hague Agreement (Geneva Act) requires a duration of protection of 15 year term counted from the date of the international registration(In contrast, Article 26(3) TRIPS requires merely at least 10 years.)

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Support

35 U.S.C. 173 Term of design patent

Patents for designs shall be granted for the term of 15 years from the date of grant.

MPEP 1505 Allowance and Term of Design Patent

35 U.S.C. 173 Term of design patent.

Patents issued from design applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 shall be granted for the term of fifteen years from the date of grant. Patents issued from design applications filed before May 13, 2015 shall be granted for the term of fourteen years from the date of grant.

[Above hyperlinks are to the relevant part of the Searchable MPEP at USPTO’s website.]

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