An article or product which is created with a particular shape, pattern, colour or is ornamented in such a way that it is aimed on improving its overall functionality, usability or just the aesthetic value, the IPR of the innovator are protected under Industrial Design laws. Industrial designs are of immense commercial importance in technical, medical instruments personal accessories, luxury items, automobile and textile industry. For an industrial design to qualify the test for the protection provided under the law requires the same must be aesthetic in nature not technical or basic feature of the article and must be novel in nature.
The registration of an industrial design helps the owner of the Industrial design to safeguard the aesthetic value of the article and secure the exclusive rights of the owner of the design against the illegal use or imitation by third party without the owners’ consent. The protection of the aesthetic element helps the economic development by promoting creativity in the industrial zone and ensure the benefit of to those who invested some, skills and resources towards the creation of the design.
The Creation of a novel and original outer appearance (shape, configuration and pattern or ornamentation) of an article can be protected through a registered design that recognizes and protects the exclusive rights of the registered proprietor in the design. He can then apply the design to the article in the class in which the design has been registered. This form of IP protection, albeit narrow in scope, is rendered very attractive, because it is swift, procedurally simple and cheap to obtain.
The purpose of the design registration is to see that the artisan/creator/originator of the design having aesthetic look is not deprived of his bonafide reward of applying it to his goods. Once the design is registered it gives the legal right to take action against the infringer and stop piracy of the design.
In UAE First-to-File principle is applicable here. This means the right to obtain a design registration lies with the first person to file the design application.
A design should:
- Be new and original
- Not have been disclosed to the public in a publication in tangible form or by use or in any other manner prior to the filing date, or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration
- Be significantly distinguishable from a known design or a combination of known designs
- Not comprise or contain scandalous or obscene matter
- Be applied to an article and should appeal to the eye
- Not be contrary to public order or morality
Process, Time line and Validity involved in the Design patenting process
Application Filing in Arabic & English along with legal documents
Examination with respect to compliance with provision of Industrial Designs Laws of UAE
Final submission with response to the FER
Publication in the Official Gazette
Timeline for whole process: 2 years
Duration is 10 years from the date of application filing
Annual renewal absolutely subject to payment of renewal fees and not being annulled.
***Note: – There is 60 days period for any interested party’s opposition. In absence of any opposition, the certificate of registration is issued
Advantage of Design Protection:-
- To have exclusive right
- Ban others from copying
- Certificate of ownership
- Design registration can be used in Court
- A better license position
- Design registration gives a broader protection than copyright
After application has been filed for registration of Design in the Ministry of Economy a preliminary examination is done to review relevant documents as per application such as product samples, drawing in English & Arabic (if any contents), Assignment Deed, Priority documents if any.
If the documents are short 90 days are given to complete the documents. After 90 days hearing is called to satisfy with department if there is any preliminary objection by the ministry. Thereafter the application is dated, numbered and queued.
Accordingly it is forwarded for Technical Examination, notice is given at the time of technical examination and examination fees (if any). At the examination it is reviewed that whether the design is unique/novel and it does not conflict with any already registered design or is similar to any existing design in the market.
After clearance from Technical Examination, the design is approved for publication in official gazette and also in two Arabic newspapers (if instructed by department). After 60 days from the publication and there is no third party objection, Design registration will be issued. Design cannot not be registered if it is already in market or it has been published by the applicant.
Annuity charges are every year and must be filed within 3 months from its due date without late payment and further 3 months with late payment. Annuity charges are paid irrespective of registration.
The Registration of Design is valid for 10 years from the date of filing.
Document Required From Client:
Name, Address and Nationalities of Applicant & Designer
A Power of Attorney duly notarized.
A Deed of Assignment from the inventor(s)/designer(s), duly notarized.
Trade License copy.
Title of the Design
A certified copy of the priority document, in case of claiming priority.
A brief description of the design pointing out the novel aspects thereof.
Three representations of the design.