Designs and Models

– Industrial Design Law of the Republic of Croatia, effective since January 1, 2004.
– Law on the Amending and Supplementing the Industrial Design Law, in force since July 31, 2007.
– Law on the Amending and Supplementing the Industrial Design Law, in force since March 17, 2009.
– Law on the Amending and Supplementing the Industrial Design Law, in force since May 7, 2011.
– Industrial Design Rules, effective since June 1, 2004.
– Supplements to the Industrial Design Rules, in force since November 14, 2007.
– Supplements to the Industrial Design Rules, in force since June 15, 2011.
– Supplements to the Industrial Design Rules, in force since October 10, 2013.

Membership in International Conventions

– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since January 24, 1965.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since October 8, 1991.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since October 8, 1991.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since November 30, 2000.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act since April 12, 2004.

Filing

Applicant: the designer or his legal successor.

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint an agent in Croatia.

Foreigners: have the same rights as nationals, in accordance with the conventions or agreements, or on the basis of reciprocity.

Kinds of industrial designs: the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from its features, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation; “product” as any industrial or handicraft item, including inter alia parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up of books, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs; “complex product” as a product that is composed of multiple components that can be replaced permitting disassembly and reassembly of the product.

Not registrable: industrial designs (a) which are contrary to the law or morality; (b) which are not new and have no individual character; (c) the design constitutes an inappropriate use of any of the items listed in Article 6ter of the Paris Convention, or of badges, emblems and escutcheons other than those covered by the mentioned Article of the Paris Convention, and which are of particular interest for the Republic of Croatia; (d) if a design is in conflict with an earlier design which has been made available to the public after the filing date of the application for an industrial design or, if the priority rights have been claimed, after the date of recognition of the priority and which is protected from an earlier date by a registered industrial design in the Republic of Croatia or an application for an industrial design; (e) if a distinctive mark has been used in the creation of the design, and the owner of the said earlier right was entitled to forbid such a use; (f) if the design represents an unauthorized use of a work which is protected by the provisions of the law regulating the field of copyrights and similar rights.

Novelty and individual character: a product design shall be deemed new if it is not identical to any design available to the public prior to the filing date of the application or, if priority has been claimed, prior to the granted date of priority. A product design shall be considered to have individual character if the overall impression it produces on the user of the product substantially differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which was previously available to the public.

Priority: from the date of filing of the application, or on the grounds of a Union priority (six months) or exhibition priority (six months). Priority has to be claimed in the application.

Multiple applications: one application can comprise unlimited number of designs if they are applied for the goods classified in the same subclass of the International Classification for industrial designs.

Territory covered: the Republic of Croatia.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, not legalized;
2. A photograph or graphical representation of the design, size: from 3 x 3 cm to 16 x 24 cm;
3. Priority certificate, if any.

Note: when claiming Convention priority, a certified copy of the first application must be submitted to the Office, along with its certified translation within three months from the filing date of the application.

Examination Procedure

Amendment of application: not possible if essential modification is involved.

Examination: as to form and absolute grounds for refusal.

Continuation of proceedings: applicants who have failed to perform a mandated action in the prescribed time frame, and have thereby suffered a loss of rights from their design application, or their design itself as a consequence, can apply for continuation of the proceedings within two months of finding out about the loss of rights.

Application kept secret: from the date of application until registration.

Publication: no publication of the application.

Opposition: not provided for.

Provisional registration: not provided for.

Registration: if the design of the product is not excluded from the protection within the meaning of the Law, and if the procedural charges for the maintenance for the first five-year period of protection of the industrial design are paid, the Office shall issue a decision on registration of the industrial design, and shall enter the industrial design in the Register.

Corrections: possible.

Publication: after registration, the granted design is published in the Official Gazette, on payment of a publication fee. The applicant for the registration of an industrial design may, together with the application, file a request for deferment of publication of the registered design for the period of twelve months, counting from the date of filing of the application and the request with the Office or, if priority is claimed, from the date of the granted priority.

Granting

Delivery of document: the Office issues an industrial design certificate not later than three months from the date of publication of the granted industrial design in the Official Gazette, on the request of the industrial design holder.

Beginning of protection: from the date of filing.

Duration – extension: five years from the filing date with possibility of renewal by periods of five years up to the total term of twenty-five years.

Annuities: a fee for the first five years is paid upon granting. Grace period: six months, with 100% fine.

Marking of registered designs or models: not compulsory.

Working: not compulsory.

Assignment: possible, in the written form.

Licenses: may be granted by written agreement.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Right of prior user: provided for; the person asserting to be the designer has to file a suit in court. The suit can be filed both during the procedure relating to the application and during the validity of the industrial design.

Opposition and annulment of registered models and designs: the decision to register an industrial design will be proclaimed null and void if it is established that the conditions for granting such rights did not exist at the time of granting. A request can be submitted by any interested party and by the public prosecutor during the whole duration of the protection to the Intellectual Property Office. The grounds on which the request is based have to be stated in the request. The decision of the Office can be appealed before the Board of Appeals of the Office. A suit against the decision of the Board of Appeals can be filed at the State Court (possible as of June 1, 2008).

Compulsory license: not provided for.

Expropriation: not provided for.

Validation: possible (see under Trademarks: “Provisions for restoration“).

Infringement and penalties: injunction, damages, publication and fine.