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INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS / REGISTERED COMMUNITY DESIGNS

In the 21st century the term “design” has been both refreshed and consolidated not only because of its artistic values, but predominantly its market value. Model, image, shape, appearance, industrial design, community design, arrangement, structure, material of creation, logotype, logo, packaging, graphic symbol, typeface - all these (and even more) terms are combined into this one.

How to define it from the perspective of industrial property law? This is basically ...

AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

which is any new object (or a part thereof) manufactured employing craft or industrial methods, demonstrating an individual character obtained by the features of lines, contours, shapes, colours, structure or material of creation as well as decoration.

Industrial designs help solve the problem with:

  • copying, counterfeiting and marketing, by competitors, goods that look or are packed in an identical or confusingly similar manner,
  • protection against claims of violating third party rights to the appearance of their products or packaging,
  • damaging the image of a company/design by marketing identical goods of lower value/worse properties,
  • theft of an original idea regarding the appearance of goods and their packaging,
  • inflow of cheaper goods of lower quality that appear similar,
  • a competitor with much broader capacities marketing a product that looks identical/similar,
  • need to prove, every time, the rights to the design - appearance of the goods/packaging,
  • very lengthy judicial proceedings and high costs incurred to prove the rights to the design of goods/packaging.

Additional opportunities provided by industrial designs:

  • foundation for marketing operations and building brand image of a company that cares about modern design,
  • registered rights to industrial designs may be inherited and disposed of (sale, donation, exchange, pledge, collateral),
  • as business assets they boost goodwill and may be the subject of contribution, basis for additional funding, collateral of liabilities (e.g. credits),
  • source of additional revenue: licence, franchising - opportunity to market the solution where it has not been available,
  • source of reduced tax charges: lease, contribution in kind,
  • strengthening the distinctive features of the mark by combining it with an industrial design - adapting the product to market expectations, creating a new mark image and building new market niches.

The protection of industrial designs stretches over the states covered in the application, it starts on the date of submitting the application to the competent Patent Office and its duration depends on the legislation in force in the specific state (e.g. maximum protection - 15, 20, 25 years) and on submitting a request to extend the registered right over the next periods of protection and making payments for said extension.

Our tailored offer includes:

  • legal and patent-related advice for entrepreneurs in the area of industrial designs (selection, protection, infringement and defence), including the initiated design protection policies,
  • industrial design searching and clearance,
  • drawing up application documents and handling the registration process necessary to obtain the final decision of the competent Patent Office (directly before PPO, OHIM, WIPO or through local agents in specific states),
  • supervision over time limits of maintaining registered rights to industrial designs (national, regional and international),
  • monitoring of registers held by the national Offices with regard to cases of violation of registered rights to industrial designs,
  • appraisal of industrial designs' value,
  • transfer and licensing of industrial designs, including rights to works developed by an employee under an employment relationship,
  • representing the Customers in cases of industrial design infringement and exercising the rights under industrial designs before:
    • the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (PPO),
    • Provincial Administrative Courts (WSA),
    • Supreme Administrative Court (NSA),
    • common courts, including the Supreme Court,
    • Court for the Community Trade Marks and Community Designs in Warsaw (Sąd Wspólnotowych Znaków Towarowych i Wzorów Przemysłowych)
    • Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM),
    • European Court of Justice (ECJ),
    • World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO/OMPI)
  • handling civil and criminal proceedings related to violation of rights,
  • we also offer extra services, e.g. image processing for the application purposes.

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