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Registration of Industrial Designs

The rapid development of design art has resulted in consumers are becoming more interested in the goods they buy to be not only useful but also attractive aesthetically. This makes manufacturers not only invest more money in the design, but think seriously about protecting the results of designers’ creative activity by the obtaining the rights to industrial designs.

An industrial design, as one of the objects of intellectual property, is the result of human creative activity in the field of artistic design. In other words, this is original, aesthetic and decorative decision of article (product, good) appearance. An industrial design is intended to attract buyers to its appearance. In most cases the appearance of product becomes the determining factor of its selling.

Industrial designs must be registered in the proper way for the protection from unauthorized copying or imitation. Industrial design protection means that industrial design can not be copied or imitated without the permission from its owner, that’s why copies or imitations, made without such permission, can not be sold or imported. The document, which certifies the ownership of the industrial design, is called Patent for industrial design.

The specialists of our Agency provide a full range of services for registration of industrial designs, beginning from the preliminary consultations to obtaining a patent.

Conditions of legal protection granting

Legal protection is granted for the industrial design that does not contradict the public order and principles of humanity and morality and complies with the conditions of patentability.

According to the article 461 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, an industrial design is a design acceptable for the obtaining the intellectual property right to it, if it is NEW industrial design. An industrial design is considered to be new if the combination of its essential features is not publicly available IN THE WORLD before the application date for registration (the so-called “international novelty”). In addition, during installation of the industrial design novelty the contents of all applications previously received by Ukrpatent are taken into account, except those, which are considered to be withdrawn or have already been withdrawn, and those, concerning which there were made decisions by Ukrpatent to refuse to grant patents and exhausted all the possibilities of such decisions appealing.

Validity period of exclusive ownership of intellectual property rights for an industrial design expires fifteen years after the date of filing the industrial design in the order established by law. The document, which certifies the ownership of the industrial design, is called Patent for industrial design.

The object of an industrial design can be:

  • form;
  • drawing;
  • colouring;
  • or combination of them, which define the appearance of an industrial product and intended to meet aesthetic and ergonomic needs.

The following objects can not receive legal protection as an industrial design:

  • objects of architecture (except small architectural forms), industrial, hydraulic and other stationary structures;
  • printed matter as such;
  • objects of unstable form, consisting of liquid, gaseous, dry and other similar substances and so on.

The extent of protection, provided for an industrial design determined by a combination of essential features of the industrial design, presented at the image(s) of the product.

Request for a patent is filed in relation to one industrial design and can contain its versions.

Request for a patent is filed in relation to one industrial design and can contain its versions.
Version of the industrial design can be the appearance of products, which belong to the same functional group and are similar in essential features, but have differences in non-essential features perceived visually. For example, a few chairs which differ from each other by texture and colour of decorative upholstery etc.

Collection (set) of products can be recognized as an industrial design, if it consists of products that perform functions which differ from one another, but are subject to a common purpose, and these functions are performed by this collection (set) of product as a whole. In terms of the artistic designing all products of collection (set) should have a general compositional and stylistic decision. For instance, a set of manicure instruments, tea set, suite of furniture, bed linen etc.

It is remarkably that the term of “one product” can be applied in respect of a whole product, e.g. a car, or in respect of its part, e.g. bumper, headlights etc. Thus, each of these products can be declared as an independent industrial design.

To obtain Patent for industrial design, we prepare a package of necessary documents, in particular:

  1. Request for a patent.
  2. Set of the product images, which give a complete picture of product appearance.
  3. A description of the industrial design.
  4. Draft, diagrams, map (if necessary). After preliminary consultations, preparing and filing the necessary documents to Ukrpatent, the work of our Agency is to conduct processing of the application, preparing of responses to requests for the experts of Ukrpatent, tracking the timing of registration procedure and timely payment of the necessary state charges etc.

The right to obtain Patent for industrial design is belonged to:

  • the author;
  • the employer, if the industrial design is created in connection with the employment agreement;
  • the author’s or the employer’s legal successor.

Terms of obtaining Patent for industrial design
After the application for an industrial design Ukrpatent conducts a formal examination, which establishes its filing date and verifies its compliance with the statutory requirements. The process of patenting of the industrial design takes 4-6 months using standard procedure; and 1,5-2 months using accelerated procedure.

The cost of patenting for the industrial design depends on:

  • the number of patentable production versions of the industrial design;
  • the number of photos that illustrate the industrial design;
  • colours of the industrial design (whether it is patented as colourful or black-and-white industrial design);
  • patenting procedures (whether there is standard or accelerated procedure).

In particular, the amount of official fees depends on whether the person, who fills an application for patent, is the author of this industrial design or not. If he/she is the author, the cost of the state charges is significantly reduced.

Examination of Industrial Design
After the application for an industrial design there is a formal examination, which DOES NOT ESTABLISH the fact whether the industrial design meets the requirements of legal protection, in particular the requirements of novelty or not.

Patent obtaining
On the ground of the decision to grant a patent of the industrial design and if there is a document confirming the state duty payment for granting a patent the information of the patent grant is published in the official bulletin of the State Department of Intellectual Property.

At the same time the state registration of a patent of industrial design is carried out.

Intellectual property rights on the industrial design are valid from the date of publication of information about the patent granting and upon payment of annual fee for maintaining the patent. Such intellectual property rights are:

  • the right to use the industrial design;
  • the exclusive right to authorize the use of the industrial design (to grant a license);
  • the exclusive right to prevent the misuse of the industrial design, including the prohibition of such use.

IT IS IMPORTANT: The use of an industrial design is the product manufacturig using the patented industrial design, the use of such product, the offer of its sale, including sale by Internet, selling, importation (import) and other introduction of the product into the public turnover or storage of such product for certain purposes.

A product is concerned to be manufactured using the patented industrial design if all the essential features of the industrial design are used.

Ways of obtaining legal protection for industrial desgn abroad:

1. Application for registration of a patent of industrial design directly to the Patent Office of the member-country of the Paris Convention you are interested in. Respectively, if you are interested in legal protection in several countries, applications are filed to the Patent Office of each of member-countries of the Paris Convention.

Firstly, the application is filed for registration of the industrial design in Ukraine and within six months (the priority period in accordance with the Paris Convention) applications are filed in any member-country of the Paris Convention with indication of the priority application filed in Ukraine. The usage of this method of obtaining legal protection in several countries is useful when the number of the countries is small.

2. The so-called “international” registration of industrial designs, which is implemented by a single application for legal protection in several countries. The legal basis for such method of patenting is an international document, The Hague Agreement about the International Registration of Industrial Designs, adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Hereby, the system of international industrial designs (Hague system) offers owners of industrial designs a simplified, fast and economical way of requesting legal protection in any of the member-countries by filing one international application at the International Bureau of WIPO only in one language and paying only one set of fees in one currency (Swiss francs). This procedure greatly simplifies the subsequent management of industrial designs, because it gives the opportunity to register any further changes or to renew the patent for a subsequent period by a single and simple procedure, performed by the International Bureau of WIPO.

Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, which began its functioning from April 01, 2004, has introduced several innovations that make the system more attractive, in particular, the possibility of postponing the publication of the industrial design up to 30 months and delivery of natural products of industrial designs instead of photos, illustrations or other images. These features are of interest to the products of textile industry.