Industrial Designs

– Industrial Design Protection Act, in force since January 11, 1998. Amendments effected in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since February 5, 1994.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since August 24, 1994.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since October 31, 1996.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since November 13, 1999.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since September 30, 2001.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since December 23, 2003.


Definition: a two-dimensional or three-dimensional appearance of a product.  

Applicant: the author or person who has acquired the right to apply for the registration of the industrial design from the author or by way of transfer of such right. The right to apply for the registration and ownership of an industrial design created in the performance of duties of employment or contractual obligations is vested in the employer or the person who orders, unless the duties of employment or the contract prescribe otherwise. Several persons may apply for the registration of an industrial design jointly. 

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a representative for any proceedings brought before the Patent Office. 

Kind of designs: an application may cover: (1) a single design, (2) variants of a design (a modification of the design producing the same overall impression on a person skilled in the art), or (3) a design set (a logical collection of designs belonging to the same class (according to the Locarno Agreement) and designed in the same manner). Each variant beyond the third is subject to an additional State fee. 

Novelty: worldwide.

Novelty grace period: twelve months.

Registrability: industrial design shall be the external aspect of a product, which aspect shall be new and susceptible to industrial or handicraft application. 

Exceptions to registration: designs which are purely functional; designs contrary to public order and morality; designs of unstable form; topographies of microcircuits; designs of spare parts and components of a product, which after being assembled, are no longer visible during normal use of the product.

Priority: in accordance with the Paris Convention.

Filing requirements for an application:
1. A request for the registration of an industrial design, incl.:
(a) name of the industrial design, (b) details of the applicant, (c) information on acquisition of the right to apply for the registration of the industrial design, (d) details of the author, (e) details of the representative (if there is one), (f) a request to suspend the processing of an industrial design if the applicant wishes to defer entry of the industrial design in the Register, (g) number of variants (if variants are filed), prohibition against disclosure of the details of the author (if requested), (h) signature of applicant or representative thereof;
2. A reproduction of the industrial design;
3. Power of attorney in case the application is not filed through a patent attorney. Representation right is presumed in case the application is filed through a patent attorney;
4. Priority documents (if priority is claimed).

Electronic filing: available.

For a change of name or address: no documents are required for recordal of change of name or address, however, the Patent Office has a right to request documents to prove the change (no formal requirements are set for said documents).


Formal examination only (whether or not the application meets the formal requirements).

Refusal of registration: can be contested by the applicant through the Board of Appeal, and the decision of the latter, through court.

Granting, Modification after Granting

Scope of protection: the registration covers identical and confusingly similar designs. 

Prior use: third parties have a right of prior use.

Delivery of document: the industrial design certificate is issued in electronic format only.

Duration: altogether twenty-five years from the date of application, providing that the renewals are timely requested.

Renewal: after an initial period of five years, four further five-year periods with payment of renewal fee within the six months before due date; a grace period of six months is allowed upon payment of a late fee.

Assignment: possible, upon payment of the State fee; must be recorded in the State Register.

License: the registration of license is not compulsory, but is recommended in respect of third parties.

Compulsory license: not provided by the law.

Cancellation after registration: third parties may contest the registration of a design through the court.

Infringements: are handled by the Estonian court. 

Liability of the infringer: civil or criminal. Compensation for damages may be required through the court.