Requirements for an industrial design
An industrial design has to be new, it has to have an individual character and it has to be possible to manufacter industrial or handicraft products according to it. The Estonian Patent Office does not examine the aforementioned requirements at registration of an industrial design. The owner of the industrial design alone is responsible for meeting those requirements. These requirements are considered to be met and the rights of the owner of the industrial design valid unless otherwise certified by the court.
A design is deemed to be new if no identical or confusingly similar industrial design is disclosed in Estonia or any foreign state prior to the filing date of the registration application. The novelty requirement is necessary to avoid protection of customary designs and/or designs which do not have novel elements. Besides that, the novelty requirement prevents from providing protection to the designs which have already been created by other authors.
The design is not new, if it has been earlier presented at the exhibitions or fairs, published in the press, presented on-line etc. As an exception the novelty requirement is not infringed in case an application for registration is filed within twelve months after disclosure of the industrial design by a person who has been entitled the rights to the industrial design.
An industrial design has an individual character if it differs from the designs disclosed earlier. A person skilled in the art has to make a decision whether the individual character exsits or not.
Requirements for both novelty and individual character are considered worldwide. Novelty and individual character are evaluated according to the information available to the public on the date of filing an application for registration or on priority date.
The Estonian Patent Office does not register an industrial design which:
- derives solely from the technical function of the product;
- is contrary to good practice;
- is unstable;
- is a layout design of integrated circuits;
- is a spare part or component which is not visible upon normal use when assembled in the product.