New York, NY
—December 10, 2018
—The International Trademark Association (INTA) Board of Directors recently approved a resolution adopting general guidelines on a range of issues related to the examination of applications for industrial designs. The Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs are intended to serve as a reference document for Industrial Property Offices and are meant to reflect various international systems in an effort to harmonize design law practice.
“These new guidelines will allow INTA to comment on the administration of designs by Industrial Property Offices and to assist Offices to set up and implement their practices and procedures,” said INTA President Tish Berard. “INTA has been focusing on design rights themselves, independent of their impact on trademark law and practice. The examination guidelines are instrumental for the Association to continue advocating for the protection of this intellectual property right.”
The guidelines are divided into sections, including filings, requirements, and elements of design applications, the examination procedure, and post-registration acts.
The Designs Committee’s Design Law and Practice Subcommittee drafted the guidelines, building on the work carried out by the Committee during the previous term. Subcommittee Member Michael Hawkins, of Noerr Alicante IP, S.L, Alicante, Spain, presented them to the Board for approval at its November 2018 meeting. In drafting the guidelines, subcommittee members researched and reviewed global trends in design examination, and incorporated best practices and input based on the expertise of INTA’s members.
“Fostering harmonization and convergence of practices is at the heart of INTA’s mission. Written in a jurisdictional neutral way, the Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs will work as a tool in the implementation of that harmonization goal, allowing the Association to continue contributing to a more consistent and certain legal environment,” said Robert Katz, of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., Washington D.C., and Chair of the Designs Committee.
In 2016, INTA added design rights to its mission to support trademarks and related intellectual property, and established the Designs Committee to develop INTA’s design rights policy.
In November 2017, the INTA Board approved a resolution to adopt the Model Design Law Guidelines which provide a set of standards for design laws to enable the Association to comment on proposals by jurisdictions looking to implement a design law for the first time or to amend existing design laws. The Designs Committee and the Association have used the Model Design Law Guidelines in responding to a number of consultations relating to design laws worldwide.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators report released this month, in 2017, an estimated 945,100 industrial design applications containing 1.24 million designs were filed worldwide, and the total number of industrial design regulations in force worldwide grew by five percent to 3.75 million.
INTA’s Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs as well as the Model Design Law Guidelines can be found at www.inta.org/modelguidelines
About the International Trademark Association (INTA)
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include more than 7,200 trademark owners, professionals, and academics from 191 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and New Delhi. For more information, please visit www.inta.org