Industrial Designs

– Law on Industrial Designs (Official Gazette “Sl. glasnik BiH” No. 53, June 29, 2010), in force since January 1, 2011.

Membership in International Conventions

– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since January 24, 1965.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since March 1, 1992.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since March 1, 1992.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since March 1, 1992.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since December 24, 2008.


Definition of industrial design: two- or three-dimensional outside appearance of the whole product or a part of a product, which is new and has individual character; which is characterized by lines, contours, colors, shapes, and the material of the product or its ornaments, including combination thereof; the product is any industrially made or handcrafted product, including parts to be assembled into a more complex product, groups or compositions of products, packing material, fashion patterns, graphical symbols and topographical symbols, excluding computer programs and semiconductor products.

Applicant: any legal entity or natural person.

Foreigners: must appoint a local patent attorney.

Protection of foreigners: they enjoy the same rights as nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with international contracts, conventions or on the basis of reciprocity.

Naming of author(s): an author must be named in the application, unless he/she signs a renunciation.

Kinds of protection: industrial designs.

Novelty: novelty with respect to the territory of the whole world.

Exceptions to protection – absolute grounds: a design which (1) is not a design as defined by the law; (2) is contrary to the law or morality; (3) contains an official coat of arms, flag or emblem, name or abbreviated name of a country or international organization or a imitation thereof, except with the consent of the competent authority of such country or organization; (4) contains a name or abbreviated name, coat of arms, emblem, flag or other official symbol of Bosnia and Herzegovina or it entities, cantons, districts, or imitations thereof, except with the consent of the competent authority.

Exceptions to protection – relative grounds: a design which (1) is not new; (2) does not have an individual character; (3) the shape of a product or its part, which is the result of purely technical or functional requirements; (4) infringes an earlier copyright or industrial property right; (5) represents the image of a person, except with the consent of such person (or of his/her relatives, if deceased); (6) could hurt national or religious feelings.

Series applications: up to one hundred designs may be contained in one application if they belong to the same class of International Design Classification.

Priority: single or multiple priority may be claimed; Convention priority (according to the Paris Convention): six months; exhibition priority: three months after the closing date; priority must be claimed in the application.

Territory covered: Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (no legalization);
2. Optional description of the design, optional description of how it differs from other designs and its purpose;
3. 3 sets of photographs or formal drawings (min. size 3 x 3 cm, max. size 16 x 16 cm, of professional quality);
4. 3 sets of photographs/formal drawings are required for each individual design in a series application;
5. Priority document (if any), to be filed within three months from the filing date; a translation is required; no legalization.

Minimum requirements to obtain a filing date: name and address of the applicant; one set of photographs/drawings.

Terms for filing missing documents: priority document and translation: three months from the filing date; other missing documents: upon request by the Intellectual Property Office, which sets the deadline of between thirty to sixty days; one extension of between fifteen and sixty days is possible.

Electronic filing: not available. 

Electronic signatures: are not accepted (only wet signatures).


Examination: formal examination; examination of absolute exceptions to protection. If an application does not meet these examination requirements, the applicant is informed and a deadline of between thirty to sixty days is set for the applicant to file a reply; one extension of between fifteen and sixty days is possible.

Publication: an application which complies fully with the above examination requirements is published.

Opposition to the published application: to be filed within three months from publication.

Transformation of designs into patents of invention (and vice versa): at any time during the examination procedure.

Amendments of application: no essential changes allowed.

Division of application: the applicant can request that the series application is divided into two or more applications; the new resulting applications inherit the priority and filing date of the original application.

Urgent examination procedure: only if a lawsuit, or a request for customs or trade inspectorate surveillance have been filed.

Restoration: possible by reinstatement to the former status; the request for the reinstating has to be filed within three months from receipt of the decision on the status which is to be restored.

Registration, Protection

Granting: for an application that fulfills all requirements for registration, the Intellectual Property Office registers the design, issues the corresponding registration decision and the certificate of registration, and publishes the design in the Official Gazette.

Appeals: no complaint can be lodged against the registration decision, but it may be appealed to the Complaints Authority of the Institute within fifteen days from the receipt of the decision. Furthermore, a decision of the Complaints Authority can be also appealed within thirty days of receipt by filing an administrative suit with the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Duration: five years from the filing date; can be renewed four times for additional five years.

Renewal: any time in the fifth year of duration, but not later than the expiry of the five-year period for which fees have been paid. Grace period: six months, with 50% fine.

Assignments: applications and/or granted designs could be assigned and corresponding assignment deeds must be registered with the Intellectual Property Office.

Licenses: exclusive or non-exclusive licenses in written form must be registered with the Intellectual Property Office.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Rights of prior user: the design has no effect against persons who, at the time of application, have already used the industrial design within Bosnia and Herzegovina or have made the necessary arrangements for using it.

Nullification action: during the whole duration of a design, any interested party can lodge a complaint with the Intellectual Property Office for nullification of the design on the grounds that all prerequisites for granting the design have not been fulfilled.

Disputes about authorship and ownership: settled by the court.

Infringement and penalties: the applicant/owner/licensee can initiate civil and penal proceedings against any infringer at the relevant court; the proceedings must be initiated within three years after the owner learned about the infringement and the infringer, but not later than five years from the date of the actual infringement; the court can prohibit the infringement, grant indemnification, and order the infringer to bear the costs of publishing the court verdict; the infringer can be imprisoned and fined.