What can you register?
A product may be:
- all kinds of physical objects from buildings to toothbrushes, cars, clothing, packaging or furniture
- parts of an object, for example the head of a toothbrush, the leg of a chair, the handle on a cup
- screen shots and icons for computer screens
- animations or moving designs, such as icons for computer monitors that show a repeated motion
- typographic fonts
- graphic symbols and logos
- pattern on crockery or material (ornamentation)
- an interior concept, such as a café or showcase
The design must be processed and created - not be a mere reproduction of what you find in nature.
Registration does not give you exclusive rights to an idea or technical function. If you register a board game, you get exclusive rights to the appearance of the board but not the idea behind the game and the rules. If you register a design for an electric toothbrush, you get exclusive rights to how the toothbrush looks, but not how it works technically.
A design must be new
A prerequisite for acquiring the exclusive rights to a product by design registration is that the product has a new appearance that is not already known before you apply for registration.
You have the opportunity to demonstrate your product on the market up to 12 months prior to filing an application, but be aware that you have no design protection in this period. This system is known as "grace period" and applies to Norway and some other countries (including the EU and USA). To find out if a particular country has this system, you should check with their national authorities.
Number of designs
A design refers to the appearance of a product, with for example lines, contours, colours and form. When we check how many designs have been included in an application, we look at the actual object to see if it is exactly the same on all the pictures. If changes have been made in the appearance of the object, we will count it as several designs.
- a box with a lid and the same box without a lid are two designs, the lid itself is a third design
- a red cup and the same cup in green are two designs
- a box that is depicted from several angles, and has a different appearance on each angle, is one design
The number of designs in a design application will affect the price, because you have to pay a fee for each design.
If you have any questions, call our Customer Service Centre.