What is a Design?
A registered design is a proprietary right that grants protection for the design of a new or original industrial product. The design grants the design owner an exclusive right to use the design. The design is meant to grant protection to the creator of an innovative shape for the product. The owner of the registered design can prevent others from performing activities in products of the same kind which are similar to the object on which the design was registered. The owner of the registered design has the exclusive right to produce, market and sell the product that is the subject of the design.
The Ordinance of Patents and Designs defines a design as “the character lines, shape, sample or ornament that are distinguishable for every object by a process or other industrial means, whether they are hand-made or done by a machine or by a chemical process, in a separated or attached form that is conspicuous to the observer of the finished merchandise, and that can be noticed by the mere observation”. This definition does not include any method or essence of a building or anything that is mainly a mechanical device.
You can register a design on products such as jewelries, toys, games, clothes, furniture, musical instruments, bags and purses, kitchen utensils and a whole variety of other products. In addition, you can register a design of “a set of objects”, which includes a group of objects that have similar characteristics, which are usually sold together or intended to be used together, and carry the same model of design (e.g. silverware, or pieces in a chess game).
The Conditions to Register the Design:
In order to register a design, the object needs to meet a few conditions that are set in the Ordinance of Patents and Designs:
New – If the design has a shape, styling or ornament that were not recognized in Israel prior to the application, or if the design is original – meaning that known elements have been implemented in a different way than what has previously known in that field.
That has not been previously publicized in Israel – You can not register a design in theregistry of designs if it had been publicized in Israel prior to its application. The meaning in “publication” is that the design was accessible to the public, or that it was presented before people who were not obliged to keep the matter in confidence. It is important to mention that according to the decisions of the registrar of patents and designs, a publication in a website that can be accessed freely in Israel is deemed as publication in Israel. Therefore, in most cases, the application to register the design after it had been publicized is not possible.
In addition, the product needs to have some sort of an esthetic value. If the shape of the object is dictated solely by its functional requirements, then one cannot register the product as a design.
It also needs to be mentioned, that designs are aimed at protecting products that are intended for industrial production (today this means the production of more than 50 copies of the product). When we are dealing with a unique product that is not intended for industrial production, that product might be entitled to receive protection under copyright laws.
The Duration of the Protection of the Design
The design is protected for a duration of 5 years from the date the application was submitted, and its protection can be renewed for two further 5-year periods, by paying renewal fees. This right is a territorial right, and the owner of the registered design has the exclusive right to use the design in the country where it was registered.
The Benefits of Registering a Design
The following points contribute to the growing number of design applications around the world, and turned the registered design into an efficient and lucrative tool in the protection of designed products: (1) The importance of the aesthetical aspect of the designed products, (2) The many benefits of the design as an effective marketing tool, (3)The expedient and relatively low-cost registration process, (4) The possibility to use the registered design in order to deal with infringing parties.
Our law firm deals in the registration of designs in Israel and around the world;infringement of designs; Submission of objections to the registration of a design, and the enforcement of the rights of the design owners.