Industrial designs

An industrial design is the form of a product. Its protection ensures that others can not copy it. You can get protection for consumer goods like clothes, bottles, furniture and lamps, but also for packaging, wallpapers and postcards.

Requirements: new and having individual character

If you want to register an industrial design, it must meet several requirements. As a rule, this  should be new. This means that it could not have been known before. Secondly, the design can not only fulfil the technical function. If your design has additional technical features, you must apply for a utility model or a patent in addition to your industrial design. Third, the industrial design must have an individual character to distinguish in a specific way from the other – known earlier – industrial designs.

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Procedure for obtaining design protection

Procedure for obtaining design protection


Typical procedures

Priority periods

This is a period of 6 months from the date you first applied for registration of your industrial design (often in the country or in the European Union). At the same time, protection can be obtained in other countries or regions, but only if the novelty requirement is fulfilled at the time of the first notification.

Procedure of registration

This is the procedure between application and registration by the Office. It often includes an official examination by the Office where the registration ability (in relation to earlier rights of third parties) is checked, as well as the formal requirements of the application. If the test is successful, the office will register the design and the decision will be published, and then the third parties have time to object to the registration of the design (this period depends on the legislation in your country or region, in Poland it is 6 months).


After the examination and publication and after the end of the opposition period, the design shall be entered in the relevant register. Registration is valid for five years from the date of filing. You do not need to pay annuities.

Further renewals

Registration of an industrial design is initially valid for five years from the date of filing, after which it may be extended for four successive five-year periods f for official fee. The maximum protection period of the industrial design is 25 years from the date of filing.

Application for registration of an industrial design

An application for registration of an industrial design must include at least one photograph or drawing of the design to be protected. In Poland, the designs are registered by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland in Warsaw. In the Netherlands – by the Benelux Design Office in The Hague. If you want to protect your design outside of these countries, you must apply for a Community Design (CD) for all EU Member States or for international registration.

To do this, you do not need to register your industrial design before the national office. In most countries immediately after the application for registration your design will be automatically registered. National applications for registration of industrial designs must be submitted in countries such as the USA or Canada (these countries are not covered by international registration).