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Design relates to the physical appearance of an item or part of it, and can apply to both industrial and handicraft items. This IP right is not concerned with how the item works, but concentrates on the appearance resulting from the features of the product.
Registering your design gives you exclusive rights to exploit it commercially for a limited period of time in the countries where the design is registered. During this period you can prevent others from manufacturing, importing or selling any article to which the design has been applied.
Registered design offers protection throughout Norway. The protection lasts initially for five years and you can renew it every five years for up to 25 years. Note that you are allowed up to one year from first disclosing your design publicly before you have to register it.
Protection in the European Union requires a so called Community Design application. A registered Community Design is valid in all member states of the EU (EEA countries are not included). Like for domestic protection, the Community Design can be renewed every five years up to 25 years.
Under The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, a WIPO-administered treaty, a procedure for an international registration is offered. You can file a single international deposit either with WIPO or The Norwegian Industrial Property Office. The design will then be protected in as many member countries of the treaty as you wish.
Registering the design is subject to a fee; see the Further readings in the right hand column.
Last changed: 30/06/2011 Print