Who can apply for and own a design?
An application for registration of an industrial design can be filed with the Greek Patent Office by the creator or his or her successor in title. If the applicant is not the sole creator or co-creator of the design, the origin of the right to the design must be proven by submission of a related declaration.Scope
What may and may not be protected?
Only designs that are new and have individual character can be protected. They must also be susceptible to an industrial application (Thessaloniki Court of Appeal Decision No. 1044/2011). For a design to be considered as having individual character, the overall impression that it produces on the informed user must differ from any design disclosed before the filing or priority date. The designer’s degree of freedom in developing the design must be taken into account when assessing individual character.
Protectable as a design is the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the lines, contours, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation. In this context, a ‘product’ is defined as any industrial or handicraft item, including parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs.
Designs for spare parts – that is, designs applied to or incorporated into products constituting component parts of a complex product – are eligible for registration only to the extent that:
- the component part, after incorporation into the complex product, remains visible during normal use of the complex product, excluding maintenance, servicing or repair;
- the visible features of the component part are new and have individual character; and
- the design is not dictated solely by its technical function.
As a ‘complex product’ is considered to be a product composed of multiple components that can be replaced and that permit disassembly and reassembly of the product, ‘must-fit’ spare parts are not protectable. Also not protectable are features of a product’s appearance that are dictated solely by its technical function, or that must be reproduced in an exact form and dimensions to permit the product into which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied to be mechanically connected to or placed in, around or against another product, so that either product may perform its function. For a design to be eligible for registration, it must also not be contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality.Costs
What are the costs involved in registration?
The costs for a single design application from filing to registration amount to €130. In multiple design applications, there is a €10 filing fee and a €10 publication fee for each additional design. Deferment of publication by up to one year is possible on payment of a €30 fee. An additional €10 fee for each additional design must be paid in the case of multiple design applications.Grace period
Is there a grace period for filings?
An important aspect of the protection of registered designs is the 12-month grace period for designs that have been disclosed by the designer, his or her successor in title or a third party. Due to the particular character of designs within the market, this grace period can prove valuable to creators, who have the opportunity to evaluate the impact of their design on the market before registering it.