Designs in Israel
Definition of a Design:
The Israel Designs Law 2019 defines a 'Design' as:
“The appearance of a product or part thereof, which comprises one or more visual characteristics of the product or of part of the product, depending on the subject, including inter alia, outlines/contours, color, shape, decoration, texture or material from which they are made”.
The term 'Product' is defined as"including a set of items, packaging, graphic mark, screen display and excluding typefaces and computer programs".
Which Designs May Be Registered?
In order for a design to be eligible for registration, it must be novel and have unique characteristics.
'Novel' – A design will be considered novel if, prior to the ‘determining date’, no identical design nor a design which is different from the 'novel' design only in non-substantive details was made public in Israel or abroad.
'Unique Characteristics' –A design will be considered to have unique characteristics if the overall impression which it transmits to a knowledgeable user is different from the overall impression which is transmitted by a different design which was made public prior to the determining date. The range of possible options available for designing products to which the design relates will be taken into consideration.
'Determining Date' -
- Regarding a design for which a design application has been filed, the determining date is the date of filing of the design application.
In the event that a priority date is claimed and granted, the determining date is the filing date of the priority application.
- Regarding a design for which no design application was filed, the determining date is the date on which the proprietor of the design, or anyone acting on behalf thereof, first made public the design or the design product inIsrael or abroad
'Made public' -
Any of the following actions, including if performed on the Internet:
- Public disclosure of a design
- Public distribution of a product which bears the design
- Offering for sale of a product which bears the design
Notwithstanding the above, making a design public will not harm the eligibility of the design for protection as a registered design if the design was first made public within the 12 months prior to the determining date, as defined above, by the proprietor of the design, or as a result of information originating from the proprietor of the design, regardless of whether the information was obtained legitimately.
Who is a 'knowledgeable user'?
A person who has an interest in using the product which bears the design and who is familiar with a variety of existing designs in the field to which the product belongs.
The owner of a registered design has the exclusive right to the following:
- Commercial manufacture, sale or rental, including an offer of sale or rental, of a product which is the subject of the registered design
- Commercial importation to or distribution of such a product in Israel
- Possession of a product which bears a registered design for the purpose of any of the above-mentioned activities
The period of protection for a registered design is 25 years from the date of the filing of an application for registration thereof.
Exclusive use of unregistered designs:
The owner of an unregistered design, who believes that a design is entitled to protection as an unregistered design, may mark a product to designate the design thereof as an unregistered design.
Once a product bears the above-mentioned notice, there is a presumption that whoever infringes the unregistered design is aware that the owner of the unregistered design believes that the design is eligible for protection as an unregistered design.
In order for a design to be eligible for protection as an unregistered design, it must meet the following two conditions:
- The design must be novel and have unique characteristics.
- The product which is the subject of the unregistered design must have been offered for commercial sale or publicly distributed in Israel by the design owner or those acting on his behalf, within six months of the day on which the design or the product which bears the design was first made public in Israel or abroad.
The owner of an unregistered design which is eligible for protection as set forth above, has the exclusive right to prevent any person from manufacturing, for commercial purposes, a product which bears a design which is a copy of the unregistered design, regardless of whether the copy is implemented by manufacture of a product the design of which is identical to the unregistered design, or a different design which gives a knowledgeable user a general impression which is not different from the general impression given by the product which is the subject of the design.
An unregistered design is entitled to a protection period of three years from the day on which it is first made public anywhere in the world.
"A person exploiting a registered design …, either on his own or through another, after the date of publication of the design application … and without the permission of the proprietor of the registered design, is infringing the registered design."
"A person exploiting an unregistered design…, either on his own or through another, after the determining date and without the permission of the proprietor of the unregistered design, is infringing the unregistered design."
Civil remedies in the event of infringement of registered and unregistered designs include injunctive relief, damages and destruction of counterfeit or infringing goods.
Damages of up to NIS 100,000 may be awarded by the Court without a requirement to prove harm.
Designation of Israel Through the HagueSystem for the International Registration of Industrial Designs
The determining date for the purpose of registration in Israel on the basis of an international registration is the registration date of the design in the international register.