Overview of the Design Law

Law on the protection of Industrial Designs in Estonia (full text)

In the following please find the main principles of the law on the protection of
industrial designs in Estonia. The Law came into force on 11 January 1998.

Requirements for industrial design

Industrial design is a plane or spatial solution of the appearance of a product. Legal
protection shall be granted to industrial designs that are novel, have an individual
character and enable to manufacture products of industry or of handicraft.

An industrial design shall be novel if no industrial design identical with or
confusingly similar to it has been made available to the public in the Republic of
Estonia or in foreign states prior to the date of filing the registration application or the
priority date. The "grace period" for the applicant is six months.
An industrial design obtains legal protection after registration in the State Register of
Industrial Designs. The applications for the registration are processed and the Register
is maintained by the State Patent Office.

The legal protection of industrial designs obtained under the Designs Law is
independent from the protection obtained under the Copyright Law.

Application for registration

The application for registration may contain either one industrial design, a set of
industrial designs or variants of an industrial design.

The set of industrial designs is meant as a logical whole of industrial designs which
according to Locarno Agreement (1968) belong to the same class and have been
designed in the same style. The set of the industrial designs obtains the protection only
as a whole, i.e. the industrial designs constituting the set do not obtain separate
independent protection.

The variants of the industrial design are different samples of the design which leave
the same general impression to the person skilled in this field. All the variants of the
industrial design must be presented in one application but there is an extra fee for each
variant more than three. Each variant of the industrial design obtains independent
legal protection.

The following documents will be needed to submit the application in the name of
foreign applicant:
- reproduction of the industrial design (general view and the views which
provide a full and detailed idea of the external appearance of the design);
- power of attorney signed by the applicant;
- priority document if the priority according to the Paris Convention is
The power of attorney must be filed on the filing date of the application or within two
months from this date.

The priority document must be filed on the filing date of the application or within nine
months from the priority date.


The Patent Office shall make a decision to register the industrial design if the object
of the industrial design meets the requirements of this Law. But the Patent Office shall
not examine the conformity of the industrial design with the requirements of novelty
and distinguishability.

Within ten workdays after the industrial design has been entered into the State
Register of Industrial Designs the Patent Office shall grant a certificate to confirm the
exclusive rights of the owner of the industrial design.

Duration of the Registration

The registration of industrial designs is valid for five years from the filing date of the
application and may be extended by five-year periods up to 25 years. The
corresponding fee must be paid for extending the period.

See also: Amendments to the legal protection of Industrial Designs in Estonia.