Design contributes to the competitiveness and sales of a product and increases its commercial value. The service can also be accessed directly through the “e-Građani” platform by selecting it within the Business categoryDesign is the external appearance (manifestation) of a product or object. Design is what makes a product attractive, appealing or desirable, and thus significantly contributes to the sale of the product and increases its commercial value.
As one of the forms of intellectual property, industrial design protects the spatial or surface features of the product (an industrially or artisanally produced object), which are visible upon its regular (intended) use. Spatial features consist of the shape and outline of the product, and surface features represent patterns, lines, colours, textures and combinations thereof.
The basic requirement that a design shall meet in order to be protected as intellectual property are the novelty and individual character of the design, and its features not being exclusively conditioned by its technical function.
A protected (registered) industrial design provides the holder (owner) with the exclusive right to use or make, offer, market, import or export a product containing the industrial design to which the industrial design has been applied.
A protected design is an intellectual property which may be granted for use by the owner to other persons for the duration of the protection by granting a license, or they may transfer it entirely to other persons.
Industrial design protection is an effective market tool which a manufacturer can use to protect its own investments in product development and production.
Industrial Design Protection ProcedureIf you want to protect the external appearance (manifestation) of your product by industrial design as a form of intellectual property, you shall perform the appropriate registration procedure with the State Intellectual Property Office.
Applications are submitted as the following forms:
It should be pointed out that the protection of industrial design refers exclusively to the external appearance (manifestation) of the product and not the functionality thereof.
Given that one of the main conditions for the protection of industrial design is its novelty, the registration process shall be initiated before placing the product on the market, or before the design that is the subject of protection is in any way made available to the public.
The registration process is initiated by submitting the appropriate application, whether single (for one design) or multiple (for several different designs). The requirement for submitting a multiple application is that all designs contained therein shall relate to products belonging to the same class of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (the Locarno Classification).
In addition to information about the applicant, designer and other predefined information, the application should also contain a photograph or a graphic representation of the design to be protected. After duly submitting an application, i.e. after all the formal arrangements regarding the application have been performed, the State Office will perform the prescribed procedure for examining the conditions for protection by industrial design.
If all the defined requirements for registration are met, a decision on the registration of the industrial design is issued, and information regarding the design is published in the official gazette of the State Intellectual Property Office.
After its registration, the publication of the design may be postponed for a period of 12 months, however, this shall be indicated in the application for registration upon its submission.
In Croatia, you can also apply for industrial design registration online using the “e-Prijava” (e-Application) service of the State Intellectual Property Office, whereby, apart from having the application procedure efficiently performed, its costs are reduced.
With the e-Fee system, taxpayers can pay prescribed fees and charges, instead of state stamps or payment slip, faster and simpler through their bank cards (for a current account, giro account or credit card) such as Visa, Maestro, MasterCard and Diners.
International Design ProtectionIndustrial design protection is territory-based, i.e. the protection is valid only in the territory of the country in which the right is granted.
Protection on the territory of other countries can be achieved in the following ways:
- by submitting a separate application to the competent office of each country in which protection is required
- for the entire European Union, by filing a single application for a registered Community design directly with the competent industrial design registration office of the European Union (European Union Intellectual Property Office, EUIPO) or via the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs
- by submitting a single international e-application via the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs directly to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).