Opposition of an industrial design

Depending on legal basis a patent can be contested and revocation of a industrial design in part or in full can be requested in the Board of Appeal or Court.

In the first instance, an industrial design can generally be contested in the Industrial Property Board of Appeal, where mandatory pre-trial proceedings are conducted (subsection 2 of § 38 of the Principles of Legal Regulation of Industrial Property Act). In court, contestation of an industrial design without going through the proceedings of the Board of Appeal in advance is possible only pursuant to the procedure for filing counterclaims by a person against whom the owner of the industrial design has filed an action for the protection of the exclusive right (subsection 3 of § 85 of the Industrial Design Protection Act).

A natural person who finds that the author of an industrial design is him or her and not the person entered in the register may, after registration of the industrial design, file an application with the Board of Appeal against the proprietor of the industrial design for recognition of his or her authorship (subsection 2 of § 80 of the Industrial Design Protection Act).

A person who finds that the rights of the owner of an industrial design belong to him or her and not to a person entered in the register may file an application with the Board of Appeal against the owner of the industrial design for recognition of the right of ownership (subsection 1 of § 81 of the Industrial Design Protection Act). An application may also be filed after the expiry of the registration or surrender of the industrial design (subsection 2 of § 81 of the Industrial Design Protection Act).

A person who finds that the person who became the owner of the industrial design did not have the right to become the owner of the industrial design may file (in certain cases only if the registration of the industrial design hinders the economic or business activities of the claimant) an application to the Board of Appeal for the termination of the rights of the owner of the industrial design (subsections 3 and 4 of § 81 of the Industrial Design Protection Act).

An applicant for an industrial design can file an appeal with the Board of Appeal against a decision of the Patent Office concerning an industrial design, e.g. if, in the opinion of the applicant of the industrial design, the Patent Office has unreasonably refused to register the industrial design. In such case, the appeal must be filed with the Board of Appeal within two months as of the date of making the decision (§ 39 of the Industrial Design Protection Act).

The Board of Appeal does not have jurisdiction over the claims of the owner of an industrial design or another person in connection with violation of the exclusive right of the owner (§ 84, subsection 2 of § 85 of the Industrial Design Protection Act), nor the resolution of claims related to the non-proprietary and proprietary rights of the author (§ 83 of Industrial Design Protection Act) or the resolution of claims related to the recognition of the right to use the industrial design by a person who has previously used the industrial design in good faith (subsection 1 of § 85 of the Industrial Design Protection Act). The corresponding claims must be addressed to the court.

Appeals and actions related to the legal protection, validity and unlawful use of an industrial design, applications for securing an action and provisional legal protection and other appeals and actions specified in the Industrial Design Protection Act shall be heard by Harju County Court as the first instance.

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Last updated: 16.10.2023