Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


5. Industrial designs


5.1. What are industrial designs?

Industrial designs are industrial property rights that protect the aesthetic appearance of goods rather than their functional novelty. Therefore, the owner of an industrial design has exclusive rights in the appearance of the whole or part of a product (in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation), if it is novel and has individual character.

5.2. What is novelty and individual character?

A design is considered to meet the novelty requirement if no other identical design has been made available to the public beforehand. Two designs are deemed to be identical where they only differ in irrelevant aspects.

As far as individual character is concerned, a design is considered to have individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced by any design that has been made available to the public beforehand.

5.3. How can you obtain protection in a design?

At present there are three procedures through which designs may be protected:

  • Spanish system.
  • Community designs.
  • International system.

5.4. How do you obtain a Spanish design?

Industrial designs are filed at the OEPM. The application process can take approximately between 6 and 10 months.

The most relevant feature includes the so-called "grace period", which consists of a 12-month period during which the disclosure of the design by its author or a related third party does not jeopardize the possibility of registration by its lawful owner. The aim of this grace period is to grant the owner of the design a term before registration without such term destroying its novelty.

Once the design has been granted, the owner is entitled to use it and to obtain relief should any third party use it after its grant has been published.

5.5. How long does a Spanish design last?

Registration is granted for a period of 5 years from the filing date, renewable for further 5-year periods up to a maximum of 25 years.

Guide to business in Spain

Intellectual property law


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
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