IP Guide for
IP Guide for Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Some Common Features of Procedures for the
Protection of Industrial Designs
By World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
Industrial designs are compositions of lines or colors or any
three-dimensional forms which give a special appearance to a product or
handicraft. They protect the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of a useful article,
which usually appeals to the sense of sight or touch and can be reproduced in
significant quantities (for a more detailed explanation see
countries, protection of industrial designs can only be acquired through
registration. In a number of these countries, no search is made and no
examination as to substance is carried out prior to registration of the
industrial design. Some countries provide for a search and examination in the
event that the industrial design application has been published and a third
party has objected to its registration by giving notice of opposition. In very
few countries, protection may also be available for unregistered industrial
general rule, to qualify for protection through registration, the design must be
“new” or “original.” The duration of protection differs from country to country.
While the usual term of protection is 15 years (an initial period of five years
with the possibility of renewal for two further periods of five years each),
some countries provide protection for only 10 years, while others allow even 25.
Renewal of protection is usually subject to the payment of a renewal fee.
However, unlike marks, protection of industrial designs, once granted, is not
subject to cancellation if they are not actively used
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