Design registration

There was a slight increase in the number of design applications filed at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) in 2017 compared with the previous year. This applies to both the number of applications direct to NIPO and applications through the Hague Agreement.

Two ways to register a design in Norway:

  • File an application for registration of a design directly to NIPO. Most Norwegian applicants submit design applications in this way.
  • Private individuals and enterprises connected to one one of the member states party to the Hague Agreement can apply for design registration in the other member states. More than half the design applications made to NIPO are such designations via the Hague Agreement.

The total number of design rights in Norway consists of a combination of these. A design registration applies for five years and can then be renewed for up to four new five-year periods. A design application and design registration may contain more than one design.

Designs: figures for period 2014-2017

  2014 2015 2016 2017
Design applications total 1219 1213 1229 1253 
- direct to NIPO from Norwegian applicants 302 250 240   242
- direct to NIPO from foreign applicants 217 183  158  165 
- international designations in Norway via Hague Agreement from Norwegian applicants 33 34  31 36 
- international designations in Norway via Hague Agreement from foreign applicants 667 746  801  810 
Decisions in design applications 1284 1148  1344  1078 
- registered designs 1219  1089  1278  1041 
- refused  0  0
- finally shelved or withdrawn 65 59 66 37 
Number of designs 3900 3765 3923  4488
Renewals 628 818 964  967
Total number of registered designs in effect 8402 8978 9543  9828

There has, however, been a weak decline since the turn of the millennium with regard to design applications from Norwegian applicants. A design application may contain more than one design, and it is therefore also relevant to count the number of designs. This number increased in comparison with 2016.

Unlike patent and trademark applications, NIPO does not examine design applications unless the applicant explicitly requests that this be done. Most design applications are consequently approved soon after submission. Applicants themselves are responsible for not infringing the rights of others. They may, however, ask NIPO to make such an assessment, but this happens in less than 5% of applications.

175 fewer applications were decided in 2017 than were received that year.

Processing time for designs

The target is for applicants for registration of designs at NIPO to receive decisions on their applications within 2-3 months. The target was achieved in 2017.

In 2017, we decided an average of 525 applications per full-time equivalent employee. This means the applications were registered, denied registration, finally shelved or withdrawn by the applicant. The figures show that we were slightly less efficient in 2017, and we will take a closer look at the reasons why this is so.

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