FAQ on Industrial Design
WHAT IS AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
An industrial design is an exclusive right to the appearance of a product. A design means the two-dimensional or three-dimensional appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from its features, in particular the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.
A two-dimensional design relates only to the picture on the surface of a product (e.g. ornament, pattern, picture), and a three-dimensional design includes the shape of a product and pictures on its surface (e.g. furniture).
In order to be protected, a design needs to be suitable for industrial or handicraft production and:
- be new – an identical design has not been made available to the public anywhere in the world prior to the filing date of the application for the grant of an industrial design for that particular design, or if there is not an earlier filed application for the grant of an identical design; designs differ among themselves in essential details.
- have individual character – overall visual impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such user by any other design.
The industrial design right is granted by a responsible state authority with the payment of the fee, and it lasts for a certain period of time in a certain territory.
WHY TO PROTECT AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
The protection of an industrial design entitles the right holder to prevent an unauthorized use, production, reproduction or exploitation by third parties. The right holder has the possibility of commercial exploitation and recognizability in the target market.
WHAT IS NOT CONSIDERED AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
A design having exclusively esthetic characteristics is not considered to be an industrial design. As such, it represents a work of art and it is protected under copyright.
WHAT CANNOT BE PROTECTED BY AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN, i.e. WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR REFUSING AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN APPLICATION?
Absolute grounds for refusing an industrial design application:
Protection shall not be granted to a design if:
- its publication or use is contrary to the public order or accepted moral principles,
- it contains a national or other public coat of arms, flag or emblem, the name or abbreviated name of a country or an international organization,
- it contains the name or abbreviated name of BIH or its entities, cantons, the District, unless authorized by the responsible authority.
Relative grounds for refusing an industrial design application:
Protection shall not be granted to a design if:
- it is not new and lacks individual character,
- it is dictated exclusively by the technical function of a product,
- it infringes an earlier copyright or some other industrial property right of another person,
- it represents or contains the portrait of a person/historical person, except with the consent of that person or an authorized person,
- it is liable to harm national or religious feelings.
WHO GRANTS INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS?
Procedure for the acquisition, maintenance, keeping records of the transfer, and termination of an industrial design is conducted before the Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Institute). The Institute maintains the Register of Applications for Industrial Designs, the Register of Industrial Designs, and the Register of Representatives in electronic form.
WHAT ARE THE PHASES OF THE GRANT PROCEDURE?
The holder of a registered industrial design or the applicant for the grant of an industrial design may be a national or foreign natural person or legal entity. Foreign natural persons and legal entities enjoy in BIH the same rights in respect of the industrial design protection as national natural persons and legal entities, provided that it arises from the international treaties and conventions acceded to or ratified by BIH or from the reciprocity principle.
A procedure for the grant of an industrial design is initiated by filing an application for the grant of an industrial design.
1. Filing an application with the Institute,
2. Formal examination of the application in the Institute,
3. Publication of the industrial design application in the Official Gazette of the Institute, available in paper form and electronic form on the Institute's Web site www.ipr.gov.ba,
4. Issuing of the industrial design certificate together with a decision to grant the industrial design in the Institute,
5. Publication of the registered industrial design in the Official Gazette of the Institute, available in paper form and electronic form on the Institute's Web site www.ipr.gov.ba
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO INITIATE THE PROCEDURE FOR THE GRANT OF AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
The procedure is initiated by filing an application for the grant of an industrial design with the Institute. It is necessary to furnish the completed application for the grant of an industrial design, accompanying documents, and proof of payment of the costs involved. The application is furnished in written form, directly or by post, by telefax or electronically to the official email of the Institute, on condition that it is furnished to the Institute in written form within eight days from its receipt by the Institute.
The application for the grant of an industrial design contains:
- Request for the grant of an industrial design (Form D-01). One application may contain a request for the grant of one or more designs (up to 100) belonging to the same class of the International Classification for Industrial Designs. The request is available on the Institute's Web site www.ipr.gov.ba
- Two-dimensional representation of a design which the applicant wishes to protect. The details of appearance must enable the assessment of novelty and individual character of the design.
- Description of a design is an optional element of the application, having maximum 150 words. The description must refer only to the appearance of a subject matter of protection, and not to its functional and technical features.
Request for the grant of an industrial design contains:
- Indications concerning the applicant,
- Indications concerning the author of a design or his/her declaration to the effect that he/she does not wish to be mentioned in the application,
- Indication as to whether the application relates to one or more designs,
- actual and short title of a design,
- legal basis for filing the application and applicant's signature.
The form is completed on a computer or a typewriter, in one of the official languages in BIH. It is furnished in two copies, and other elements of the application are furnished in one copy. The application that has been accorded a filing date is entered in the Register of Applications, and the Institute notifies the applicant to that effect in writing.
Industrial design application further contains:
- Power of attorney if an industrial design application is filed through a representative,
- Declaration of the creator of a design to the effect that he/she does not wish to be identified in the application,
- Declaration indicating the grounds for acquiring the right to file the application if the creator of a design is not the applicant,
- Declaration on a common representative if there are several applicants,
For further information, please refer to the Regulations Concerning Procedure for the Grant of Industrial Designs.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO OBTAIN AND MAINTAIN AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
All the actions in the procedure for the acquisition, maintenance, keeping records of the transfer and termination of an industrial design are subject to the payment of the administrative fee and prosecution costs. The schedule of fees and prosecution costs is available on the Institute's Web site www.ipr.gov.ba, section fees and costs.
Proof of payment is furnished on submission or following the Institute's invitation to pay.
DO I NEED TO HIRE A REPRESENTATIVE?
Hiring a representative by a national natural person or legal entity is not prescribed by the Law, and it is up to the applicant to decide whether to hire a representative or not.
In the procedure conducted before the Institute, a foreign natural person or legal entity must be represented by a representative entered in the Register of Representatives.
The Register of Representatives is available in electronic form on the Institute's Web site www.ipr.gov.ba.
HOW LONG DOES INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROTECTION LAST?
The term of Industrial design protection is five years from the filing date of the application, provided that it has been registered. The term of protection may be extended four times for the same time period, with the payment of the costs involved and timely filing of a request. An industrial design may last maximum 25 years.
DOES INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROTECTION OBTAINED IN BIH EXTEND TO OTHER COUNTRIES?
An industrial design granted under the provisions of the BIH Law is a territorially limited right which is only effective in the territory of BIH. The same design may be simultaneously protected in several countries, provided that it is internationally registered in each of those countries.
HOW CAN I PROTECT AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN OTHER COUNTRIES?
The industrial design holder from BIH may file an international industrial design application, as well as a request for the entry of changes in the International Register in accordance with the Hague Agreement and international regulations for the implementation of the Hague Agreement.
The applicant may opt to file an international application directly with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, or indirectly through the Institute in accordance with the stipulated procedure.
The fees and costs are paid in accordance with the preferred filing option.
- Law on Industrial Designs, Official Gazette of BIH volume 53/10
- Regulations Concerning Procedure for the Grant of an Industrial Design, Official Gazette of BIH volume 108/10
- Law on Amendments to the Administrative Fees Law, Official Gazette of BIH volumes 16/09, 19/02, 43/04
- Decision on Specific Costs of Procedure for the Acquisition and Maintenance of Industrial Design Right, Official Gazette of BIH volume 109/10
- Administrative Procedure Law, Official Gazette of BIH volumes 29/02, 12/04, 88/07, 93/09