Before you apply for a design registration

There are several things you should check before you file an application for design registration.

Check if someone else has registered a similar design

In order not to infringe the designs of others, it may pay to check which design rights already exist in Norway, thereby avoiding spending time and effort developing something that others have rights to.

Even though nobody else owns the rights to a design in Norway, it is not necessarily open for copying the design. This is because the design may be protected by copyright law and marketing law.

Check our database

A search in our database gives you access to publicly available informasjon concerning Norwegian registered designs and design applications. The database is free of charge and open to all users.
Search our database

We can carry out a preliminary search

The Norwegian Industrial Property Office carries out fast, reasonably priced examinations on your behalf. Preliminary examinations are confidential and may be useful regardless of whether you plan to file an application for design registration.
Read more about preliminary searches

If you are planning on filing a a design application, you can also order a supplementary examination. A search will then be carried out in our database to determine whether or not we have any previously registered designs with a similar appearance, which may hinder the registration of your design. If we find something, we will send you a summary of our finds to help you decide whether you want to withdraw your application or not.

Protection in Norway or other countries

Once you have decided to file an application for design registration, you will want to consider in which countries you want protection. It is advisable to have a design registration in every country where you intend to exploit your design commercially. However, it will also be more expensive if you wish to protect your design in many countries.

If you primarily want to protect your design in Norway you will find more information on the page "Apply for design registration in Norway."

To apply for protection in other countries, you will find more information on the page "Apply for design registration in other countries."

Do you have a technical solution or logo associated with the design?

If your design also has a completely new technical solution you should consider also applying for a patent. However a patent has different requirements to design registration. For patents, novelty is an absolute requirement. For designs, this requirement is moderated, enabling you to make your design public for a period of 12 months before you file an application for registration.

If you wish to combine patent and design registration, you must take into consideration that:

  • the design application not be made public until you have filed your patent application
  • the design application must be filed within 12 months after the patent application has been made publically available, due to the novelty requirement (grace period)

If you wish to use a specific name or a logo for your product, you should consider registering it as a trademark.
Read more about trademark registration

Need help in choosing the right strategy?

NIPO can show you which options you have to obtain the rights to a trademark, design or invention.

If you need advice concerning strategic choices you should consider using a professional patent agency or patent attorney. You can find a list of authorized representatives in Norwegian on the website Rådgiverdatabasen.

Thank you for your feedback! If you need an answer, call +47 22 38 73 00 and talk to our Customer Service Centre.
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