FAQ Designs

What are the requirements of registrability of a design?

The main requirements that enable a design to obtain registration are novelty and individual character. A design is new if it has not been disclosed prior to the filing date of the application for registration (with some exceptions), while it is deemed to have individual character when it evokes in the informed user a different overall impression from the one evoked by any product that has already been previously disclosed.

How long does the protection of a registered design model last?

The registration of a design lasts five years. This period may be extended up to five times, up to a maximum of twenty-five years.

What is the commercial classification of a design?

The products, for which registration is sought, are identified on the basis of the International Classification for Industrial Designs called “Locarno classification”.

What is a “multiple” design?

It is possible to file a single design application for registration for several designs. In this case, however, it is necessary that all the products for which the design is filed fall within the same class of goods according to the Locarno classification.

What is the difference between a design and a utility model?

The utility model consists of a new form of an industrial product, which gives to the product a “particular utility or ease of use”. Therefore, the utility model protects new shapes that are directed to grant to a product technical-functional benefits, while the design only protects the aesthetical appearance of a product, or a part thereof.

May designs also be protected by copyright?

Yes, but this only applies to those designs having “creative” and “artistic value”. In this case, the protection of copyright may be added to the protection granted by the design registration.

Who may seek registration of a Community design?

Any natural or legal person.

What are the requirements for registration of a Community design?

The requirements for the registration of a Community design are identical to those applied at national level. Also in this case, the design must comply with the requirements of novelty and individual character.

What is a non-registered design?

A special feature of the Community Design Regulation consists of a special protection granted also to designs which have not been registered: the author of an non-registered design, which meets the conditions for a valid registration, has an exclusive right on such design for a period of three years from the date of its first public disclosure within the European Union.

Who may seek registration of an international design?

Any natural or legal person with nationality of a Member Country of the Hague Agreement on the International Registration of Industrial Designs or residing therein, or having therein a real and effective industrial or commercial plant.

What are the registration requirements for an international design?

The registration procedure is carried out by the Patent Offices of each Member Country in accordance to its national legislation. For the registration of an international design it is not necessary to initially proceed with the filing of a national design.