Designs and Models

– Industrial Designs Act, 2001.
– Industrial Designs Act, 2001 (Commencement) Order, 2002.
– Patents (Amendment) Act, 2006 (contains some provisions relating to designs).
– Industrial Designs Regulations, 2002.
– Industrial Designs (Amendment) Regulations, 2004.
– Industrial Designs (Amendment) Regulations, 2007.
– EU Directive 98/71/EC.
– EU Council Regulation (EC) No. 6/2002 of December 12, 2001 on Community Designs.
– European Communities (Enforcement of Community Judgments on Trade Marks and Designs) Regulations, 2006.
– European Communities (Provision of Services concerning Trade Marks and Industrial Designs) Regulations, 2007.
– European Communities (Community Designs) Regulations, 2003.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since April 26, 1970.
– Locarno Agreement for the International Classification of Industrial Designs, since April 27, 1971.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since March 9, 1999.

Filing

Applicant: any person, firm or body claiming to be the proprietor of the design. 

Applicants not living in the country: are required to have an “address for service” within the country. 

Foreigners: no distinction is made. 

Kinds of designs and models: appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.

Not registrable: a design in conflict with a prior design; features and appearance of a product which are solely dictated by its technical function or “must fit” features of a product.

Novelty: no identical design has been made available to the public before the filing date for registration, or where priority is claimed, the date of priority. A design is not deemed to have been made available to the public if it has only been disclosed under conditions of confidentiality, or where the design was disclosed without the authorization of the proprietor of the design. Novelty is not destroyed as a result of a disclosure by the author or his successor, within one year of the filing date or the priority date.

Priorities: yes. Application must be filed within six months of priority date.

Series applications: a multiple application may be filed for up to one hundred designs; all designs in a multiple application must belong to the same Locarno class, except in the case of ornamentation. 

Classification: International Classification (Locarno). Protection is not restricted to classes of goods for which the design is registered. 

Territory covered: Republic of Ireland.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Information as to whether the design is for a single design or a multiple application covering several designs;
2. Name, address and nationality of the applicant(s);
3. Name and address of the designer(s) for each design;
4. Up to 7 representations of each design(s) (either photographs or drawings);
5. Names of the products to which the design is to be applied or in which it is to be incorporated, preferably products as defined in the Locarno Classification;
6. Instructions as to whether deferral of publication (for up to 30 months from the priority date) is to be requested;
7. Certified copy of basic priority application, if Convention priority is claimed (must be filed within three months of filing date) and if not in English, an English translation will be required.

Minimum filing requirements: name and address of applicant, at least 1 representation of the design (drawings or photographs) and priority details (if applicable).

Examination Procedure

Amendment of application: possible, upon request, at any time prior to registration, with the approval of the Controller, but only where the amendment does not affect the identity of the design. 

Examination: is directed mainly to formalities.  However, an application may be refused where a design is contrary to public policy or morality, where it infringes copyright or where it incorporates protected emblems or symbols.

Alterations: not possible. 

Application kept secret: publication may be deferred for up to thirty months after registration, upon request. 

Priorities: certified copy of basic foreign application (with attested translation if not in English) required to support claim to priority, to be filed within three months of date of filing of application.

Opposition: no.

Provisional registration: no. 

Registration: follows directly if examination has been satisfactory. 

Corrections: clerical corrections only allowed. 

Publication: notice of registration is published as soon as practicable after registration, publication of the design may be deferred for up to thirty months from date of priority, upon request and payment of the official fee.

Protection

Delivery of document (and usual duration after filing): about six months. 

Beginning of protection: registration is effective from the filing date (or priority date, where priority is claimed) of the application for registration. 

Duration: twenty-five years.

Renewal: five years, renewable for four further periods of five years.

Annuities – latest term for payment – extension: before expiry of previous term, six-month extension of time obtainable with payment of surcharge.

Marking of registered goods: “Registered”, “Regd.” or “Rd.” along with the registration number of the design. 

Working: is recommended to avoid compulsory license.

Changes in the list of goods: not possible.  

Licenses: may be granted, should be recorded in order to be effective as to third parties. 

Assignment (possibility and form): yes, must be in writing signed by or on behalf of assignor, usually by simple deed of assignment. It should be recorded in order to be effective as to third parties.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Right of prior user: reserved – public prior use would invalidate registration. 

Opposition to registered designs: none. 

Annulment of registration: any time after the registration of a design any person interested may apply for the cancellation of the registration of the design on any of the following grounds: (1) at the time of filing the design lacked either novelty or individual character; (2) the design is dictated by technical function; (3) the design is contrary to public policy or morality, or it infringes copyright; (4) the design is in conflict with a prior design; (5) a registered Trademark has been used in the design; or (6) the design incorporates protected emblems or symbols.

Compulsory licenses: can be granted if demand within Ireland for a product incorporating the design is not being met or is not being met on reasonable terms, or is only being met by importation other than from a member of the World Trade Organization.

Expropriation: no. 

Restoration: yes. 

Infringement and penalties: injunction may be granted to stop infringement and damages may be awarded. Procedure exists for seizure of infringing goods.