A design can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional. For example, the appearance of a kitchen robot may be subject to design. Similarly, a fabric or carpet pattern may be the subject of design as well. Even a component of a product can be the subject of design. Just like the headlamps of a car or the door opening handle of a refrigerator. In order for a design to become eligible for protection by filing a design application in terms of intellectual property rights, it is required that such design is new worldwide and has a distinctive character.
If a design is a novelty worldwide as far as is known, such design is considered to fulfill the condition to become eligible for design protection. What is meant by novelty is that a design was not put on the market ever before.
A design is considered to have a distinctive character if it is different from its peers. Distinctiveness means that there is a clear difference between the overall impression created by a design on the informed user and the overall impression created on the same user by any other design. In assessing the distinctiveness of a design, emphasis is as a matter of principle placed on evaluating rather the common features of the designs to be compared, while the extent of the designer’s freedom of choice in terms of design development is taken into account. Analogies frequently used in the market such as that a design must have “7 distinctive features” or be “50% different” in order to become eligible for registration are definitely not true.
A design that satisfies the above conditions become eligible for legal protection by way of registration.
Design application and registration procedures performed by Kordinat within scope of design protection activities usually comprise the following steps:
- a) Preparation of the Design File and Application: The files prepared to protect the subject matter of a design are prepared in line with the Industrial Property Law No. 6769 in conjunction with general international standards. The most critical point in a design file is the visual representation and design description that represent the distinctive characteristics of a design. Visual representation can be in form of a picture or drawing that represents the design best, while the description describes the design’s characteristics in words and sentences. The quality of visual representation and description determine the quality of design protection. Therefore, the design file is prepared by representatives of Kordinat, taking into consideration the imitations which the customer might confront, while the application is filed at the Turkish Patent Institute after having submitted the file to the customer’s consent.
- b) Examination: The Turkish Patent Institute examines the designs and requests change if there are any aspects that are not eligible for registration. If a design is found eligible for registration, the next steps will follow, i.e. registration and publication. Designs that are found to be “not new” as result of examination will be rejected.
- b) Registration and Publication of Design: If a design application is found to fulfill the required conditions as result of examination, the Turkish Patent Institute will decide to register the design and publish it in the official design bulletin. Once a design is recorded into the design register, it is considered that the design has been registered. Designs are published in the bulletin for 2 months. The aim of such publication is to give third parties the chance to raise objection, if any.
- c) Objections: After a design is registered and published, objection may be raised against the design by third parties. The received objections are assessed, and the design will be rejected as whole or in part if an objection is found to be justified.
The time spent from design application to certification take 10 to 12 months on average. Term of protection is 5 years. This term can be extended up to 25 years by renewal every five years.
Kordinat performs its design application, registration and management services through experienced patent and trademark representatives in order to enable its customers make efficient use of their designs to gain competitive advantage.