Designations of origin and geographical indications of products

Documents and forms

Public declarations

Fight against counterfeiting and piracy




What and how to protect the design

Design means the appearance of a product or part of a product, consisting in particular of the features of the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product itself, or of its decoration.

The filing and procedure of design applications and the rights and obligations arising from designs entered in the register are regulated by Act No 444/2002 Coll. on Designs, as amended, Act No 71/1967 Coll. on Administrative Proceedings, as amended, and Act No 145/1995 Coll. on Administrative Fees, as amended.

The design protects the external finish of the product. A product is an industrially manufactured or crafted article, including parts intended to be assembled into a single composite product, packaging, finish, graphic symbol and typographical feature, excluding computer programs. A composite product is a product which consists of several components which can be interchanged and which enable the product to be disassembled and reassembled. The subject-matter of the protection is the pictorial appearance of the product or a part thereof. The scope of protection is determined by the representation of the design as registered in the Register. The registered design does not protect the technical, structural, functional, material or other essence of the product, even if that essence is apparent from the representations in a particular embodiment or even generalised.

A design is eligible for protection if it is new and has a distinctive character. A design shall be deemed to be new if an identical design has not been made available to the public before the date of filing of the application or before the date of priority. Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only insubstantially. A design has a distinctive character if the overall impression which it produces in the mind of the informed user differs from the overall impression produced in the mind of such user by a design which was made available to the public before the date of filing of the application or before the date of priority.

The Office shall examine the design application, i.e. check whether the subject matter of the application meets the conditions required by law. If the design is registrable, the Office shall enter the design in the Register of Designs and publish the design. The applicant becomes the owner of the design. It issues a certificate of registration to the owner of the registered design. The registration shall be announced in the Gazette of the Office. Where the applicant has requested in the application a deferment of publication of the registered design not exceeding 30 months from the date of filing of the application or from the date of priority, the Office shall publish the design only after the expiry of the requested period, and the Office shall announce the deferment of the publication of the design together with the notification of the registration in the Gazette.

The owner of a registered design has the exclusive right to use the design, to grant consent to use the design to other persons or to transfer the design to them. Consent to use the design shall be granted by a licence agreement which shall take effect against third parties upon registration in the Register of Designs. The registration of a design shall be valid for five years from the date of filing of the design application. The owner of the design may renew this term of protection repeatedly, for five years at a time, up to a total term of 25 years from the date of filing of the design application. An application for renewal of protection may be filed during the last year of the relevant five-year period and shall be conditional upon payment of the relevant fee. If the application for renewal has not been filed within the aforementioned period, the proprietor may still file it within six months from the date on which it should at the latest have been filed. The Office shall not invite the proprietor to renew the protection of the design.

Proceedings on the design application shall be conducted by the Office with the applicant, who may appoint a representative.

The specific amount of administrative fees for acts performed by the Office shall be set out in the scale of fees annexed to Act No 145/1995 Coll. on administrative fees, as amended. The administrative fees are payable on submission and the fee for each required act must be paid separately.

Design protection is territorial, meaning that it applies only in the territory of the state where protection has been granted. It is therefore necessary to seek protection in all those countries where the design is likely to be sold, produced or shipped, i.e. on the assumption that it will have a commercial effect. Under the international convention (Paris Convention), it is possible to file a design application in almost any country, and provided you do so within 6 months of the first filing of the application, it will be accorded priority from the original filing.