It depends on the scope of activities and business strategy of the entrepreneur. If your goods are directed only to the Estonian consumers, legal protection in Estonia may be sufficient. If you sell or have an intention to sell your goods also abroad, it is advisable to choose a way of registration which offers protection in the countries where you are doing business. For risk diversification the design could be first registered in Estonia and later the protection could be extended to foreign countries, if needed.
Protection is territorial, i.e. an industrial design protected in the Estonian Patent Office is valid only in Estonia, but an industrial design registered in the European office EUIPO is valid all over the EU. Both offices use a registration system, i.e. it is not checked whether an industrial design filed for registration is novel and has distinctive character (an applicant is responsible for the compliance of these requirements). If the application is in compliance with the formal requirements and it is not contrary to the public policy, it will be registered.
Community designs are registered by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The application may be brought to the Estonian Patent Office, but the Office will forward it to the EUIPO without examining it. A state fee of € 32 should be paid for forwarding the application. The Estonian Patent Office does not deal with the other documents, so the applicant will have to send them directly to the EUIPO.
A registered Community design is valid for 5 years from the filing date of the application. Term of protection can be renewed for one or more periods of five years each, up to a total term of 25 years. A fee should be paid for the renewal.
Yes, a Community design registered in the EUIPO is valid in all member states of the EU, including Estonia.
Last updated: 06.02.2024