What is a design?

The outward appearance of a product or part of it, resulting from the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials and/its ornamentation.

What is a product?

A product can be any industrial or handicraft item including packaging, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces but excluding computer programs. It also includes products that are composed of multiple components, which may be disassembled and reassembled.

Why should I protect my design?

The Design or shape of a product can be synonymous with the branding and image of a company and can become an asset with monetary value that could increase. If you do not apply for protection others may benefit from your investments.

How do I apply for registration?

In order to apply for a Design registration, there are certain minimum requirements as set out below. The applicant must be the proprietor i.e. the owner of the Design. The proprietor can be the author of the Design or the employer of the person who created the design if this was done in the course of the employment (subject to any contract or agreement to the contrary).

Minimum requirements for filing –

·         A request for registration

·         Representation suitable for reproduction

·         The name and address of applicant

·         The prescribed fee

How much is it to apply for a Design registration?

The fee for a single design is €70.

In the case of a multiple design application, the fee is €70 plus €25 per additional design.

e.g. multiple application consisting of 10 designs, the correct amount is €70 plus €25 x 10. Total = €320.

What legislation covers Designs?

The Industrial Designs Act 2001 and the Industrial Designs Regulations 2002 cover all Designs filed since 1st July 2002. All Designs prior to that date are covered under the Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act, 1927.

How long is my Design protected for?

As long as the renewal fees are paid every five years, a Design filed under the old Act lasts 15 years, a Design filed under the new act lasts for a maximum of 25 years (i.e. 5 X five year periods).

How can I protect my Design abroad?

Designs, like patents/trademarks are territorial. If you want to protect your design outside Ireland you may apply for a Registered Community Design. (link to Registered Community Design)

What is a Registered Community Design?

A Registered Community Design is a central application process that offers protection in all EU member states.

How much does a Community Design cost?

A Registered Community Design is a central application process that offers protection in all EU members states.

I’ve heard you still have rights even if you don’t register your Design?

Yes, the scope of the protection is the same. The rights conferred, however, differ because the registered community design (RCD) gives an exclusive right to use and to prevent others from making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting, using or stocking for such purposes, products incorporating the design which do not produce a different overall impression.

The unregistered community Design (UCD) constitutes a right to prevent the commercial use of the design only if the use results from copying. Consequently, if the design has been created independently by a second designer (in other words, that designer shows that he/she was not aware of the existence of the protected design), there is no infringement.

Unlike a RCD you do not have to file an application to protect an UCD. This does, however, have its downside because the holder of the UCD may encounter serious problems proving that the protection exists.

How long does a Community Design last?

A RCD as with the national design lasts for an initial period of five years from the filing date and can be renewed in blocks of five years up to a maximum of 25 years.

An UCD protects the design for a period of three years from the date of first disclosure which must have taken place within the EU territory.