Industrial Designs

– The Law on Industrial Design No. 05/L-058, published on December 31, 2015 in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo No. 40, in force since January 15, 2016.
– Administrative Instruction No. 12/2016 on Industrial Design Registration, in force since August 26, 2016.

Membership in International Conventions

– Kosovo is not a member of any international conventions related to intellectual property matters, except:
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since July 14, 2016.

Filing

Applicant: the author or his legal successor (individual, firm, company).

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must have a local representative registered with the IP Agency.

Registrability: the outer appearance of the whole or of a part of the product resulting from features of, shape, form, color, lines, contours, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornaments. The features of shape or configuration which are solely dictated by the function or must necessarily be reproduced in their exact form and dimensions in order to permit the function of the product in which the design is incorporated may not qualify for design protection.

Non-registrable: designs whose publication or use would be contrary to public order or morality; the design constitutes an unauthorized use of any of the items listed in Article 6 of the Paris Convention, or of badges, emblems and different escutcheons, which are of particular public interest in the Republic of Kosovo.

Novelty: absolute. A design must be new and must have individual character. A design is new if it was not made available to the public prior to the date of filing the design application or the recognized priority. A design has individual character if the overall impression it makes on an informed user differs from the overall impression produced by any other design made available to the public before the filing date of the design application or the recognized priority.

Novelty grace period: twelve months for cases of prior publication by the applicant or a party authorized by the applicant, and for unauthorized publication by a third party.

Priorities: in general, from the filing date of the application; Union priority: six months, must be claimed in the application; the certified copy of the priority application has to be filed within the following three months; exhibition priority: six months, must be claimed in the application along with a certificate issued by the competent authority containing information concerning the type of exhibition, venue, dates of opening and closing of the exhibition and the first day of exhibiting the products cited in the application, as well as evidence that the product design which was exhibited is identical to the one cited in the application.

Multiple applications: one design application can comprise more then one design if they belong to the same Locarno class (maximum number not specified).

Territory covered: Kosovo.

Filing requirements (to be sent to resident agent for filing of application):
1. Representation of the design suitable for reproduction (photographs or drawings; maximum 7 different appearances);
2. Priority certificate, if priority is claimed (immediately with the application for exhibition priority or for Union priority, must be filed within three months from the filing date);
3. Power of attorney, original or notarized copy thereof/legalization not required (must be filed at the time of filing). Note: a general power of attorney must be notarized;
4. Description of the design (optional and up to one hundred words);
5. Request for deferment of publication of the registered design (optional).

Electronic filing: not available. 

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

Examination Procedure

Examination: formal examination as to completeness and formal requirements.

Search on novelty of the design: at the request of an interested party and upon payment of the required fee, the IP Agency shall provide the services comprising novelty search of the registered industrial designs.

Opposition: not provided for. Interested persons can notify the IP Agency that the application for a design does not fulfill the legal requirements and submit evidence in support.

Provisional registration: not provided for.

Registration: after having established that the design fulfills the conditions for protection, the IP Agency asks the applicant to pay the fee for the first five years of protection. Upon payment, the IP Agency registers the design and publishes the same in the Official Journal. The certificate of registration is issued upon request of the owner.

Amendment of application: not possible, only correction of technical errors.

Transformation: not provided for.

Division of multiple application: possible, conditions will be regulated by corresponding by-laws.

Urgent procedure: not provided for.

Appeals: the Board of Appeal has been established by Administrative Instruction No. 09/2012 in force since June 19, 2012. The decision of the IP Agency can be appealed by the interested party within a fifteen-day deadline from the receipt of the decision of the IP Agency. The Committee will decide on the appeal within thirty days of its receipt. It is possible to initiate a lawsuit at the competent court within thirty days from the receipt of the decision of the Appeal Committee.

Granting

Delivery of document: approximately two to three years after filing.

Beginning of protection: from the date of filing.

Duration: twenty-five years from the date of filing the application.

Annuities: for the first five years of protection, the annuities are paid upon the invitation of the Industrial Property Agency. Thereafter, the maintenance fees are paid for five-year periods on the owner’s own initiative on the anniversary of the filing date.

Annuity grace period: six months.

Marking of registered goods: not compulsory.

Text of marking: not provided for.

Working: not compulsory.

Amendment of issued design: not feasible.

Corrections: possible to correct typographical errors.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Assignment: provided for design registrations and applications; contract must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.

Licenses: provided for designs and applications; can be exclusive or not exclusive; contract must be in a written form and registered to take effect vis-à-vis third parties.

Compulsory license: not provided for. An industrial design can be subject of pledge as well as a subject in the execution proceedings. If requested, an industrial design can be part of bankruptcy estate.

Expropriation: not provided for.

Validation of invalidated designs: not possible.

Disputes about ownership: a lawsuit can be filed with the court to establish the right to the design or the application, during the whole validity of the design.

Dispute about authorship: the author can request, by filing a lawsuit with the competent court, to be declared an author and recorded as such in relevant documents and registers.

Opposition to registered designs: not provided for.

Invalidation: a design can be invalidated if it is established that the conditions for granting the design protection were not fulfilled at the time protection was granted, if the applicant or holder of the registered design is not its holder; if the design is in conflict with a prior design which was made available to the public after the date of application or in cases when the priority is claimed, after the received priority date, the design shall be protected from the date which existed before the registration of the design or before invoking of such right; if a distinctive sign is used and the right holder of this distinctive sign has the right to prohibit such use; if the design constitutes unauthorized use of a work protected under the Copyright Law; if the design constitutes unauthorized use of any of the items listed in Article 6 of the Paris Convention, or of badges, emblems and escutcheons other than those covered by Article 6 of the said Convention which are of particular public interest in the Republic of Kosovo. The request can be filed with the IP Agency during the whole duration of a design.

Infringement and penalties: the court can be requested to prohibit the activities which constitute infringement, to order that the goods be removed from the market, the destruction of the infringing goods, to grant damages, to order the publication of the judgment at the expense of the infringer, and to order the infringer to provide information about third parties which participated in infringing activities. Preliminary injunctions and measures to secure evidence are provided for. Fines may be imposed both on a company and company officials. Imprisonment provided for in the Criminal Code.