INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Design System
In most countries an industrial design has to be registered with a local Intellectual Property (IP) Office, so that it could be protected from copying under the Industrial Design Law. In addition, there is a so-called “grace period” in some countries, which allows the design owners to file an application for an industrial design registration after their design has been disclosed to the public. This period is usually from 6 to 12 months from the date of disclosure. If you are seeking for a protection worldwide, you shall use World Intellectual Property’s (WIPO’s) Hague System, which offers a practical solution for registering up to 100 industrial designs in 66+ territories via filing a single international application online or to a local Intellectual Property (IP) Office.
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Timeframe

6-12 months (if no objections or rejections arise)


Overview

In a legal sense, an industrial design is the title granted by an official authority, usually the Intellectual Property (IP) Office, allowing to protect an aesthetic or ornamental aspect of an object. Please be informed that an industrial design rights protect only the appearance of aesthetic features of an article and they do not apply to any functional features, so if you are interested in protecting an article, which offers a new technical solution, then obtaining a patent shall be required.

If you are seeking for an international industrial design protection, then you shall use World Intellectual Property’s (WIPO’s) Hague System, which offers a practical solution for registering up to 100 industrial designs in 66+ territories via filing a single international application online or to a local Intellectual Property (IP) Office.
This option is available for citizens or residents of the certain industrial design related treaties, making up the international legal framework for industrial designs, managed by WIPO:

  • Hague Agreement;
  • Locarno Agreement;
  • Paris Convention;
  • WIPO Convention.

In order to use the benefits of WIPO Convention, the applicant must have personal or business connection to a treaty which is a party to the WIPO Convention. In other words, person must be domiciled in, have industrial or commercial establishment in, or be citizen of one of the member countries. It must be mentioned that the rights for an industrial design can be obtained by both natural person and legal entity. If the sole reason for obtaining a patent for your invention is to own the rights to the intellectual property, we usually suggest to incorporate a company in low maintenance fee jurisdictions, and then to file an application as a legal entity. For a list of potential options, please contact our team members.

Before applying it is important to define what are the requirements for the industrial design to be eligible for protection.

The design must:

  • be new and unique;
  • have an individual character;
  • be different from the existing articles of the same tittle.

In general, the application shall consist of the following, otherwise it will be refused:

  • Filled in application form;
  • A clear title of an article;
  • A description of the design;
  • Drawings and photographs;
  • Fee confirmation document;
  • Power of Attorney if the applicant is a hired agent.

If application is accepted after its initial processing, then the following stages take place:

  1. Classification of an article;
  2. Preliminary examination;
  3. Comparative research;
  4. Comparative examination;
  5. Successful registration.


Benefits

The benefits of obtaining an international industrial design protection include:

  • the exclusive right to create the articles of a unique design within the particular territory/-ies;
  • the legal protection against infringes and dishonest competitors;
  • the ability to sell or assign to another person the industrial design or license its use.


Renewal

  • The international industrial design is usually valid for up to 25 years;
  • It can be renewed at the end of each 10-to-25-year period directly with WIPO;
  • The holders will receive unofficial notice of possibility of renewal six months before the renewal date due.



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