The patent for industrial model protects a product exterior appearance (design) for up to 25 years.
For this purpose, a design should be of global novelty and originality.
The design patent is not the only but the optimal way to protect an exterior.
Alongside with this one, outer appearance of a specimen is protected by the copyright for design works. However, the scope of this right is narrow. The coverage concerns only cases of direct copying of a product, copying its essential (original) part, or copying with minor changes (“revision” of a work).
Protection of a product exterior view, its package or a fragment of a package may be protected by trademark registration. But to this end, the superficies should have a very high distinguishing power, i.e. a degree of originality that allows to distinguish the goods by appearance from goods of other manufacturers. Hence, the industrial model seems to be the best way to protect a design.
On the manner a product is presented in the application, depends not only the patent acquisition, but its stability in the event of contestation and, most importantly, its effectiveness, i.e. the ability to restrain competitors and stop violations. Particular attention deserve images to be presented in the application, they determine the scope of protected rights. It is essential to “clear” them of irrelevant or known details, highlight unprotected parts with dashed lines, and show them in various projections. If necessary, a designer is involved in this process.
Database lookup for industrial models and trademarks, browsing through Internet open sources. A report is provided with recommendations and detected analogs appended.
Preparation of an application (image processing, drawing up the description), filing the application with further support through correspondence with the Patent Office by means of online systems until the patent is granted.
A patent is extended by an annual fee. In addition, every 5 years, a renewal application shall be submitted. Once the fee is not paid at the appropriate time, the patent protection is terminated. The protection is restorable within 3 years.
Proper timely registration of any changes of the patentee name and address is also essential.