Designs

- decline in national applications, particularly from Norwegian applicants
- easier to apply for design protection abroad from 1st July
- new Regulations on Fees

Applications filed

In 2010, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) received 629 applications for design registration, a fall of 8 % from 2009.

The number of national applications from Norwegian applicants fell by 16 % from 2009 to 2010, while the number of applications from foreign applicants remained stable (see figure below). This means that Norwegian applications have now almost fallen to the pre-2009 level.

The  Norwegian Industrial Property Office recieved 56 (or 115) international designations from foreign applicants in 2010. The discrepancy in figures is due to the fact that we have not yet clarified how these statistics should be registered, to ensure they are compatible with WIPO's statistics.

Developments in 2010 indicate already now that Norway can expect to receive a greater number of design applications in the years to come.

(The figure above does not include international designations from 1st July 2010. This is due to the fact that we have not yet clarified how these statistics should be registered, and how they should be coordinated with WIPO's statistics.)

An application for multiple registration may contain several designs. The number of designs filed in 2010 was the same as 2009 when taking into consideration international design registrations filed via the Haag Agreement. NIPO received 1 600 designs in national applications, and approximately 300 (or 500) international designs.

Final decisions and examination procedures

In 2010 NIPO processed 618 design applications. At the end of the year, there were slightly more applications waiting to be processed than at the end of 2009. During the year we spent considerable resources on improving the quality of our examining procedures and  tools, particularly in connection with Norwegian membership in the Hague System for international design registration which came into force from 1st July 2010.

(The figure above does not include international designations from 1st July 2010. This is due to the fact that we have not yet clarified how these statistics should be registered, and how they should be coordinated with WIPO's statistics.)

In 2010 the average time taken to process an application was 3.6 months (3.4 months in 2009),  from the date of filing the application until registration or the first written opinion.

New Regulation on Fees

In 2010 NIPO carried out a complete revision of all fees, with regard to both justification and size, and a new Regulation on Fees was drawn up. Some of the terminology has been clarified. Most fees remained unchanged, others had a slight increase. The new Regulation came into effect from 1st January 2011.

International design registration

Norway became a party to the Haag System for international design registration on 1st July 2010, making it easier and cheaper for Norwegian businesses to apply for design protection outside Norway. With one application, in one language and by paying a single set of fees in one currency it became possible to obtain design protection in over 65 countries.

Applications may be filed to NIPO, which sends them on to the International Bureau at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), which again sends the applications on to those countries designated in the application. Applications are examined and rights granted in each separate country based on national regulations.

International developments

In the Nordic countries, the dominant trend has been a decline in national design applications over the last three years. With the exception of Sweden, applications for Community Design Registration to OHIM* from the Nordic countries has also fallen in 2010 (se figure below). A reduction in applications to OHIM from Norwegian companies coincides with the national trend in this period.

Applications for Community Design Registration from Nordic countries:

*OHIM is the European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs that are valid in all 27 countries of the EU.