Industrial Designs

– Law on the Protection of Industrial Designs No. 161-XVI, in force since December 1, 2007, and as amended on July 30, 2015.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since December 25, 1991.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since December 25, 1991.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act since December 23, 2003.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since December 1, 1997.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since July 26, 2001.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since March 16, 2007.

Filing

Applicant: any individual or company. Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a representative. Foreigners: the same possibilities of protection as for nationals, including Convention priority. Notion: external appearance of an article or a part thereof, created particularly of lines, outlines, colors, forms, texture and/or materials of the article itself and/or its ornamentation, are considered as industrial designs. Novelty: an industrial design shall be regarded as novel if no identical industrial design has become publicly available before the filing date of the application for registration or, in case the priority has been claimed, before the priority date of the industrial design for which the protection is claimed, or before the date on which the industrial design, for which the protection is claimed, has been firstly publicly made. Grace period for the creator: twelve months prior to the filing date or priority date. Originality: an industrial design possesses distinctiveness, if the general impression differs from the industrial design, which has become publicly available. The degree of author’s freedom is taken into consideration. Exception to protection: a design determined exclusively by its technical function, which without fail should be reproduced in its identical form and dimensions in order that the article, whose part the design is, could perform its function; a design contrary to public order or principles of morality. Series applications: a multiple design (up to 100) can be protected within a single design application. The designs should relate to the same class of Locarno Classification (except for ornamental articles). The applicants and authors should be the same for all designs (Art. 33(1,2). Convention priority: can be claimed according to the Paris Convention. The priority of a design exhibited at an international exhibition within the Republic of Moldova, is established according to the date on which the design was exposed at the exhibition, provided the application is filed within six months of this date. Electronic filing: available. Territory covered: the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. A set of photographs or graphic representations, providing a complete detailed presentation of the external appearance of the article, 80 x 80 mm in size (maximum permitted 160 x 240 mm). 8 prints are required if a black and white representation is filed (12 prints for a colored representation);
2. A technical drawing (showing the dimensions of the object) if the design is to be applied for in Class 09-01 of the Locarno Classification;
3. Power of attorney (no notarization or legalization);
4. Priority document (if any);
5. Assignment deed (if any);
6. Description (if necessary).

Note: broken lines or dash-dotted lines can be used on images (Art. 16(e) of the Regulations). The industrial design shall be reproduced on neutral background; the image shall not be shaded by ink or correction fluid (Art. 16(a)).

Examination Procedure

Examination: after formal examination, publication of data concerning the application. Opposition: possible within three months for filing remarks and oppositions of third parties, thereafter, examination of oppositions and substantive examination. Amendment of application: possible, within two months from the filing date of the application (without payment of a fee) and on the expiry of the two month-period from the filing date (with payment of an official fee). Amendment of the substance of the design is prohibited. Division: a multiple application or certificate may be divided into several separate applications or certificates. Appeals: the applicant may file an appeal against a negative decision with the Appeal Board of the State Agency on Intellectual Property. Opposition by third parties may be filed within thirty days after publication of the decision.

Granting, Protection

Registration certificate: in the absence of any appeals and provided that the registration fee is paid, the certificate is issued within three months. Scope of protection: is determined by the totality of its features reflected in the graphic representations, which are included in the Register of registered designs and published in the Official Bulletin. The description explaining the graphical images does not influence the scope of protection of the industrial design.  Article 42(7): If the classification of the article is not given in the application or is given incorrectly, the Agency shall classify the article in which the industrial design is to be embodied or used under the Locarno Classification. Beginning of protection: from the filing date of the application. Duration – extension: five years; which may be extended for several five-year periods, but no more than twenty-five years from the filing date of the application. Marking of registered goods: not obligatory. Assignment and licenses: possible; must be registered with the State Agency on Intellectual Property. Working: not necessary.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Right of prior user: provided for. Invalidation: possible during the entire term of the design. The application is filed with the court. Compulsory licenses and expropriation: not provided for. Infringement and penalties: the Law stipulates that no one may use a design without the owner’s consent. If infringement is suspected, the owner may bring the matter before the court.