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Registering IP: Industrial Design Guide

Our Industrial Design Guide steers you through the different stages and requirements of the registration process, including various forms and documents.


Industrial designs can be registered at the national Intellectual Property Offices, for example with the Ministry of Economy in the UAE. Beside the national offices, it is possible to apply for a multi-national protection at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). After the drafting is finished, the application can be submitted to the IP office(s) and filing fees must be paid. The office then examines if the patent application meets the demanded requirements for an industrial design. If all requirements are met the industrial design gets granted.

Requirements and registration process can vary between the different IP offices.


REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS:

An industrial design needs to:

  • Be unique, at least in the field you're going to use it in.

  • Be aesthetic and not a technical feature.

  • Be clearly belonging to a product..

  • Be a two- or three-dimensional design.

  • Differentiate your product from others.

The creation of an industrial design requires some creative and well-thought-out considerations and research.

Designers should pay attention to the following steps before registering a design. The described steps do follow a chronological order, but can be performed either one after the other or in parallel:

Idea

The industrial design development typically starts with novel idea for a design which the designer believes is innovative and not already state-of-the-art and/or protected by a industrial design. The idea can result from inspiration, market research on existing designs, problem solving of a technical problem, or the circumvention of an already existing industrial design. In this process step, the designer should already document his/her idea as comprehensively as possible, i.e. with sketches, diagrammes, or prototypes (if applicable).

Prior art search

To determine if the design idea is novel, a search for prior art should be performed. Throughout the whole design process, it can be beneficial to perform searches at different points of time corresponding to the actual development status. To search for prior art, please click here

Development

At this stage, the actual development of the industrial design takes place. This can include sketches, drawings, models, and prototypes. The design can also be tested in regards to technical functionality, ergonomics and aesthetics (look and feel), or perception by the potential target group. An important aspect of the development stage is the comprehensive documentation of the design.

Industrial design disclosure

The designer usually discloses his/her design to a (design) patent attorney (internal or external). The design disclosure should capture all important information needed to draft an industrial design application. To document the design properly, design disclosure forms are usually used. Such design disclosure forms are provided on this page.

Industrial design assessment

At this stage, the protectability of the design is assessed by an IP expert. The results of the prior art search are taken into consideration to assess the novelty of the design. A design is considered new if it has not been disclosed in a similar form to the public before. Another important assessment criteria is the non-obviousness of the design, which refers to only minor changes or add ons to already existing designs. If that should be the case, the design is not registrable. Furthermore, the registration of a design requires it to have an ornamental nature, which refers to its outer appearance, visuals and aesthetics, and is not limited to functional aspects. Without it, it may be not protectability either.

Further assessment should include technology, product, and market/business aspects. Consulting professionals in this regard, such as technology experts, product managers, sales managers, etc. could be beneficial. As a result of the design assessment, a decision should be made whether to register the design as an industrial design or not.    

 
 Industrial design drafting

The drafting of an application is usually performed by an attorney experienced in industrial designs. It is recommended to reach out to such experts to make sure that the requirements of the application in terms of content, structure, and formality are met. In general, an industrial design application includes drawings, description, product indications, and bibliographic data.

To find professional support from an attorney experienced in industrial design, please click here.

Industrial design registration

The submission of an industrial design is possible via an online portal in many IP offices in the world, including the UAE. As for the drafting, it is recommended to let the application and prosecution be performed by an attorney or registered agent experienced in industrial designs. To find professional support please click here.

After the submission of the industrial design, the examination at the IP office starts. After a first examination, the IP office can ask for amendments. The applicant should then reassess his/her design and decide whether to make the requested amendments or drop the application.

If finally, all requirements of the IP office are met, the industrial design is granted. The duration from submission to grant varies between 6-18 months from case to case and from office to office.

Required documents

For registration of an industrial design at MoE following documents are required:

  • Application Form

  • Abstract (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Abstract (English) (pdf)

  • Assignment (pdf)

  • Bibliographic Information (xls or xlsx)

  • Certified copy of priority application (pdf)

  • Commitment To Submit Documents Belonging To Application

  • Claims (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Claims (English) (pdf)

  • Description (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Description (English) (pdf)

  • Drawing (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Drawing (English) (pdf)

  • Emirates ID

  • Extract from commercial register or partnership (pdf)

  • Industrial Design Or Drawing Documents Receipt

  • Patent Or Utility Certificate Documents Receipt

  • PCT Documents

  • Power of Attorney (pdf)

  • Proof of applicant types

  • Representative Image – Minimum 500x500 pixel

  • Sequence listing

  • Others (zip)

Helpful templates

More information


NEXT STEP

Start your industrial design registration process with the UAE's Ministry of Economy.

Apply Now

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