industrial design

What can be protected as industrial design

Industrial design is one of the intellectual property objects that can be protected by patent on the territory of Russian Federation. According to Russian legislation industrial design is defined as a solution of the appearance for a home-made or factory-made article.  Appearance should be described by a set of significant features.

Significant features of industrial design determine aesthetic peculiarities of the appearance of an article, such as form, configuration, decoration, combination of colors or lines, contours of an article, texture or structure of the material of an article. Features that are due exclusively to the technical function of an article can not be protected by industrial design patent.

Industrial design may enjoy legal protection when it is proved to have original and novel significant features.

Industrial design is deemed novel when the set of significant features characterizing the appearance of an article is not known from the data that could be publicly available earlier than the priority date of the industrial design. Examination establishes novelty and originality of industrial design taking into consideration (in view of priority) all invention, utility model, industrial design, trademark applications filed with the Russian patent office by other parties with condition that these documents are publicly available.

Such occasions when information concerning industrial design was disclosed by its author or applicant or any other person who explicitly or implicitly obtained this information from them (i.e. by presenting industrial design in the exhibition) which led to publicity of the data can not hinder patentability of the industrial design upon the condition that application is submitted with Federal service on intellectual property within twelve months period from the date of disclosure.

Industrial design is deemed original if it is defined by such significant features that refer to creative peculiarities of the article. It is the case when the information that was publicly available in the world earlier than the priority date of the industrial design does not contain solutions of the appearance of an article having similar purposes and producing similar overall impression evaluated by an informed person from the images of the appearance of industrial design.  In scopes of examination the role of an informed person performs the examiner whose knowledge of features in the appearance of an article accumulated by analogues groups of industrial designs  is considered the most complete.

Unprotectable are:

  • solutions characterized by features determining only technical purposes of an article;
  • solutions contradicting public interests, principles of humanity and morality;
  • solutions including official symbols, names and distinction marks;
  • solutions misleading consumers of articles in regard to the producer or place of production or goods themselves for which the article serves as a package or a label.

The restrictions concerning contradiction to morality and inclusion of official symbols have recently acquired special significance for examination of industrial designs although these provisions were conditionally set forth by Russian legislation a long time ago.

In relation to the last indicated restriction the Code does not provide precise list of situations upon which industrial design will be misleading consumers. Nevertheless this condition correlates with the article taken from trademarks registration requirements. According to this regulation solutions can not be registered as industrial designs if they comprise / are identical to / make the same overall impression as objects indicated below:

Application documents
  • Application request form.

  • Set of images of an article reflecting comprehensively all significant features of the industrial design that define aesthetic peculiarities of the appearance of an article.

  • Drawing of general view of an article; building layout if required for disclosure of the essence of industrial design.

  • Specification of industrial design.

  • official names and images of especially-precious objects of world cultural heritage;
  • geographical indications identifying wines and alcoholic beverages with special qualities predominantly defined by natural peculiarities of the geographical object;
  • trademarks registered or claimed by other parties;
  • designations identical or similar with appellations of origin, company names, commercial name the exclusive rights on which belong to other parties;
  • designations identical with names of well known scientific/literary/artistic work, character, quotation and others.

Thus examination of industrial designs carries out search with use of automotive trademarks database of Federal service on intellectual property and  information from the Internet.

How to obtain industrial design patent

Obtaining patent on industrial design is available upon filing of application with Federal service on intellectual property. Industrial design will be registered if it is properly drafted, claimed and complies with patentability criteria. Upon submission the application goes through two stages of examination – formal and substantive. The first stage is to establish compliance with formal requirements after smooth completion of which the industrial design is examined to prove its compliance with patentability requirements. Industrial design can be protected with patent upon favorable results of substantial examination.

Industrial design validity period

The term of validity of industrial design patent is restricted by 5 years. Upon due request of the Holder his exclusive right on industrial design and on the patent confirming such right may be numerously prolonged by 5 years period but maximum lifespan of the patent is 25 years. Maintenance of industrial design patent requires obligatory payment of annual fees by the Holder, otherwise protection of patent will be ceased.