Design Rights

A design right is a valuable property right to a business.

Design registration grants a statutory right, subject to certain conditions, to prevent others from using the design without your permission – i.e. to prevent infringement.

Registration confers an exclusive right to authorise others by means of licensing to use the design.   The design of a product can become synonymous with a company and like all intellectual property (such as trade marks and patents) can have monetary value.

The fraudulent use of a registered design without the authorisation of the proprietor and/or possession of products bearing the registered design may in certain circumstances, be a criminal offence, and criminal proceedings may be initiated under the Industrial Designs Act, 2001.

The filing date of an application for registration of a design shall be the date on which the applicant pays the prescribed filing fee of €70.00 and files at the Irish Patents office documents which contain in the prescribed form-

a request for registration of a design or designs;

a representation of the design or designs suitable for reproduction, and;

the name and address of the applicant.

When an application containing the required minimum information is received a receipt is issued in respect of the prescribed fee (usually within 2 days of receipt of the fee) and then a filing date and application number is assigned and a filing receipt is issued usually within 7 working days.

Upon acceptance of the application and confirmation that all is in order for registration a certificate of registration is issued to the proprietor upon completion of the registration process.

The registration of the design is published in the Patents Office Journal. It is possible to a request for deferment of publication.

When a design is registered, protection is granted initially for 5 years and can be renewed for 4 further periods of 5 years each (on payment of the prescribed fee), giving a maximum of 25 years protection from the date of registration.