Industrial design is a three or a two dimensional looks of an entire product, or a part of it. It is related only to decorative or aesthetic aspects of the product, respectively only to the external appearance of the product.

However, with regard to business organizations, design of the product usually covers both aesthetic and functional elements, taking into account the issues like possibility for the product to be valorized, then also price of the product, how it can be easily transported, storage, repairs and sales.

Design is determined by visual features, primarily by lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and also by materials of which the products is made, or decorated with, and of their combinations too.

Three dimensional design is characterized first of all by the shape of the product, such as model of car or furniture, appearance of jewellery, watches, packages and many other products.

Two dimensional design is composed of two dimensional features like pictures, patterns, ornaments, arrangement of lines and others.

Industrial design may also be composed of the combination of one or more three dimensional and two dimensional features.

What does industrial design protect?

Design protect
industrial or craft objects, as well as the parts for assembling into the complex product, product packages, graphical symbols and typographic marks. 

Design cannot protect computer programme or the products where the appearance is determined exclusively by its technical function.

Industrial design is primarily of aesthetic nature, so that is has to be suitable for industrial or craft production. Otherwise, it is ‘’a work of art’’ which can be protected by copyright.

Why is it necessary to protect design?

Protecting design, its owner provides for himself the exclusive right against its unauthorized copying or imitation by the side of competitor.

Industrial design adds value to the product, making it attractive and appealing to the customer. It can often be the only reason for the customer to buy a certain product.


Who can file the application for granting the right to design?

Author or his legal successor, respectively his employer in cases prescribed by the law.  Foreign natural and legal persons in our country enjoy the equal rights for protection as the local ones, if those rights arise from international agreements or the principle of reciprocity.

What can be registered as industrial design?
It is a general rule that design has to fulfill one or more conditions in order to be registered.
Under our legislation, design is protected by exclusive right if it is new and individual in character.
Design is considered as new if no identical design has become accessible to public before the date when the application for granting such design is filed, or if there is no previously filed application for granting identical design.
Design is individual in character if the entire impression made on informed user differs from the entire impression made on such user by any other design which has become accessible to public before the date of filing application for its granting, or the date of granted precedence right of the opposed design.

When does the procedure for granting design start?
Upon filing application for granting the right to design at the Intellectual Property Office, by post or directly into the writing & registry room of the Office. The Office enters such duly filed application into the Register of applications for granting the right to design, where such application is given a proper D-number, with precise indication of the date of the application, which is simultaneously the date of acquired precedence date with respect to the protection of the design filed.

What is the precedence right?
It is the right which guarantees to the person filing the application that his application will enjoy priority, with regard to procedure of researching / analyzing whether the conditions for the design are fulfilled, in relation to all other persons who filed the application for the same external appearance of the product in certain later period. The precedence right becomes effective on the date when a due application is filed at the writing & registry room of the Intellectual Property Office.

What elements make due application for granting design?
The application for granting design is composed of three elements, i.e.:  1. Request for granting right to design; 2. Description of design; 3. Design layout. The application is to be accompanied with: authorization, in case the application is filed through representative; verified copy of the application (prioritized certificate) indicating that the application is duly filed in some of the countries of Paris Union, if the precedence right is requested; confirmation or certificate from the Chamber of Economy stating that the applicant displayed the appearance of the object at the exhibition of a fair of international level in the country, or if the object is exhibited at the exhibition or a fair of a country other than Paris Union member state, a relevant document / certificate issued by competent authority of such country; evidence documenting payment of the fee as prescribed by the law.

How is the procedure for granting design conducted?
In our country, the conditions for protection of design and the whole procedure upon the application for granting right to design are regulated in the Law on legal protection of design (Official Gazette of State Union Serbia& Montenegro, No.  61/04) and Regulation on procedure for granting right to design (Official Gazette of State Union of Serbia & Montenegro, No. 28/05), and it is carried out by filing the application for granting right to design to the Intellectual Property Office. When the applicant files such application, Intellectual Property Office will investigate whether such application contains all legally prescribed elements, respectively whether the application filed is correct. After the procedure for formal treatment of the application is completed, the Intellectual Property Office will conduct the procedure for researching conditions required for granting right to design. If the Intellectual Property Office finds out that the application fulfils the conditions required for granting right to design, it will decide to issue relevant document to the design holder. Such decision is final and no one is allowed to start administrative procedure / dispute at competent authority.  
The right granted to design is published in the official bulletin of the competent authority.

What is the duration of the right to design?
The duration of such right is 25 years from the date when the application is filed, provided that the fees for its maintenance are duly paid.

How to extend validity of design?
By filing the request for extension of the right to design in the Form D-5, together with evidence on the fee paid for such extension. For the first five year period, the fee is paid in one amount, while for maintenance of validity from sixth to twentyfifth year, the fees are paid each year up to the expiration of the validity term of 25 years.

Is it allowed to change appearance during the procedure for granting design?
The appearance cannot be changed in the application, so that it essentially differs in scope and content from the one described when the application was filed.

Applications treated as per urgent procedure
The applications are treated as per schedule determined according to the date when they are filed.
Exceptionally, the applications treated urgently are:
- applications for international registration of design, and
- applications for which the court procedure is conducted, or applications where the inspection supervision is started, upon the request from the court or competent authority of market inspection. For the request to treat the application as per urgent procedure, a specific fee prescribed by law is to be paid.

Unprotectable design:
It is not possible to protect design:
1. whose publishment or use is opposite to public order or moral;
2. which confirms copyright or industrial property rights of other person;
3. which contains state or other public coat of arms, flag or symbol, name or abbreviation of some country, or international organization, religious and national symbols, as well as their imitation, unless approved by competent authority;
4. which present the character of a person, unless specifically approved by such person.

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