The outward appearance of a product, its shape, a special ornament or decoration, is protected with drawings and models: for the purposes of registration, no particular aesthetic appeal is required, as this is a purely subjective assessment, but the requirements of novelty and individual character must be met.
What can be protected by registration with drawings and models is therefore only the purely aesthetic rendering, and not its functional appearance.
Anyone can file an application for Italian design registration: both natural and legal persons, Italian or foreign.
For registration purposes, the design must be lawful and novel: that is to say, prior to the filing date, no model identical to it must have been disclosed. The law allows a so-called “grace period” and therefore the possible disclosure of the design during the 12 months prior to filing the Italian registration application does not remove the design or model’s novelty.
Finally, the model must have individual character, basically something that – in the eyes of the so-called informed user – distinguishes it from what has already been made public in that field before the application for registration of the same model is filed.
Multiple design (model or drawing) registrations
Several models belonging to the same category of goods (according to the Locarno classification) may be filed with a single application, taking advantage of reduced taxation. In this way all possible variants of a design can be protected, making considerable time and cost savings.
Rights conferred by the model or drawing
The model or drawing confers on its proprietor the right to its exclusive use and prohibits third parties from using it without the proprietor’s consent.
Filing of application
The design is filed with the UIBM (Italian Patent and Trademark Office) in an online procedure. At the end of the procedure, the filing number, which identifies the submitted application, is issued immediately.
It is possible to claim the priority of a design (drawing or model) application filed in the previous six months in one of the countries party to the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property.
The design (model or drawing) right lasts for 5 years from the filing date, and is renewable up to a maximum of 25 years.