You have acquired a right
How long does your registration last?
Your design registration is valid for five years from the date when you file your application. You can renew it further for four five-year periods up to a maximum of 25 years. We will send you an alert that the registration can be renewed when it is approaching the expiry of a five-year period.
The maximum term for registration of spare parts is five years. Spare parts are parts that are used to repair a product.
More about how to renew your registration
When the period of protection comes to an end, the design can be used by anyone. In some cases, however, the right of others to utilise the design may be limited under other legislation. It may, for example, contravene good business practice or the Marketing Act to use a design that is very close to that of your competitors. The design may also be subject to protection under copyright law.
How similar can the designs of others be?
A design registration gives you sole right to all designs that give the same overall impression. The difficult question to answer is: "When is the overall impression similar?" We unfortunately cannot give a straightforward answer to this question, because it has to be based on a case-by-case assessment. We have to consider whether the totality of a design is similar to the totality of another design. Changes in small details will probably often not be enough to give a different overall impression.
In addition, it is important for the scope of the protection how much freedom the designer had in developing the design. Some features in a design are necessary for the design to fulfil a technical function. It is not possible to have sole right to such features.
There have been only a few cases of infringement in design registrations in Norway, and we therefore have little practice to draw on.
Do you have a technical solution or logo associated with the design?
If your design 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
What should you do if someone copies your design?
If you discover that others are selling a design that you consider to be an infringement on your design registration, you should first assess carefully whether you think that the other design has the same overall impression as your design. If you consider it to be an infringement, you should contact the other party and explain your point of view. It is wise to make contact in writing, which you can use as proof at a later date. You should attach a copy of your registration and ask the other party to stop using the design. In many cases you may be successful in stopping use of the design if you can prove that you have sole right to it.
If the other party does not agree with you or does not respect your right, you may take action in a court of law. You should contact a lawyer specialising in intellectual property rights. A documented right in the form of a design registration will show the date for when the design was filed to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. This will be of great significance in any legal case.