Israeli Design Law

What is a design? 

A design is an intellectual property right which provides protection to the visual elements of new designs of industrial products. Israeli design laws are governed by the Patents and Designs Ordinance (which is no longer applicable to patents), which defines a design as a nuique visual element of a final industrial product. 

What are the requirements for registering a design? 

The material requirement in the examination of designs is novelty. Unlike examination of patents, the novelty of a design is measured in the national level only, i.e. only prior publications in Israel can impinge on the novelty of a design. However, under the Israeli PTO's practice and case law, publications on the internet (even from foreign websites or even foreign design databases) are novelty destroying. In addition to novelty, the design must be non-functional.

What protection does a design confer on its proprietor? 

A design confers a negative right to prevent others from using the design or its imitations with respect to the classes in which the design is registered. This is a terittorial right which is granted for five years, which can be extended to an additional period of five years.

When is it recommended to register a design? 

When an industrial product with unique aesthetic elements is planned, and it is expected to commercially succeed, it is recommended to consider filing a design application at an early stage of the process. It is important to remember that after the launch of the product, it is no longer possible to file for the registration of a design since the application will not meet the novelty requirement.