Design protection in Israel

How to register a design in Israel? The best way to protect a product design is usually by filing an application for design registration. Similar to a patent, a registered design is a temporary monopolistic license for the commercial exploitation of the design, which is granted to the inventor by the country in which the design was registered.

In contrast to a patent, in Israel, a design does not protect the functional aspect of the product but only the aesthetic aspect of the product. 

In this article, we will elaborate the legal situation in Israel regarding design protection.

A new and original product

A design is eligible to be registered as a design if it meets the design definition (above) and if the design is “new or original”.

In order for the design to be eligible for registration as a design, its publication should be avoided before filing the application. It is important to note that “a prior publication” can also be an advertisement on the Internet even in the territory that is not the territory in which registration is requested.

In the new Design Law of Israel of 2017, there is an option to register a design that was published before its registration by its holder, provided that the publication was made during 12 months before the date of filing of the application for registration.

There is no dual protection of copyright and design right in Israel

In Israel, a product that is eligible to be registered as a design and manufactured in industrial production (as for today, from fifty copies or more) is not protected by copyright law and if it will not be registered as a design it will not be protected.

Duration of design protection

While copyrights law in Israel protects works for the rest of the author’s life and another seventy years, a design in Israel is given for shorter periods.

The previous law (Patent and Design Ordinance of 1926) defines the validity of a registered design protection for 15 years. The new Designs Law (Design Law of 2017) allows, under certain conditions, the extension of the old design period to up to 18 years.

The new Designs Law of 2017 defines the validity of a registered design for a period of 25 years.

The territory in which the design is protected

The design is protected only in the territory (the country) in which it was registered.

Priority – filing applications for registration of designs abroad by virtue of a registered design in Israel

In accordance with the Paris Convention, the filing date in one country will be recognized as the filing date in the other countries parties to the convention, if the application is filed in the other country within 6 months from the filing date in the first country. The first filing date is the “priority date”. After a period of 6 months, the publication of the Israeli design will be considered as prior art that will prevent the possibility of registering the design it the other countries.

Maintaining the priority date allows the person who has applied for a design registration in a certain country (party to the convention), to file an application for a similar design in each of the countries (parties to the convention), and thereby deferring the expenses involved in applying in those countries for six months.

How to register a design in Israel?

The rules for registration of the design in Israel are set forth in the Patents and Designs Ordinance of 1926 and in the Designs Regulations of 1925 as well as in the new Designs Law of 2017.

A design is filed for registration by filing an application for registration to the Patent and Design Office in Israel. An application for registration must include the following details:

  1. Application form.
  2. Pictures of the design (photographs, drawings or computer simulations) from different angles describing all the details of the design.
  3. Payment of the fees.
  4. A letter stating that the application is a new application that has not yet been published.

Examination of a design in Israel

Pre-examination – After receiving the application, the Designs Department examines the application and the other documents and instructs (as required) on the amendment of the application before the examination.

Examination of the application – After filling all the documents as required, the Department of Designs examines the application in accordance with the law and decides whether to reject the application or to accept the application.

Issuance of a registration certificate and publication in the Design Journal – After accepting the application, a registration certificate is issued and the design is published in the Design Journal.

A request for cancellation

Any person who considers himself aggrieved by the registration of a particular design or believes that the design should not have been registered, is entitled to file a request to the registrar to cancel the registration of the design.

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