Industrial Designs

– Colombian Industrial Designs are regulated by Decision 486 of the Andean Community (Cartagena Agreement), in force since December 1, 2000.
– Circular Letter 10 of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia, published August 6, 2001.
– Resolution 21447 of April 11, 2012, which amended Titles X and XI of the Circular Letter of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of Colombia.
– License agreements involving designs are also regulated by Decision 291 of the Andean Community.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since May 4, 1980.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, including trade in Counterfeit Goods, since April 30, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since September 3, 1996.
– Decisions 486 and 291 of the Andean Community (Cartagena Agreement).
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), party since January 30, 2001.

Filing

Applicant: the designer or his legal assignee.

Definition: industrial designs are those of which the specific appearance of the product is what is relevant. Therefore, they are the result of any gathering of lines or color combinations, or any two-dimensional or three-dimensional external form, line, contour, arrangement, texture or material, without changing the destination or purpose of the product.

Exceptions: those designs (1) whose commercial exploitation within Colombia’s territory must be necessarily prohibited in order to protect public order and morals; (2) whose appearance is entirely based on technical order, or on the accomplishment of a technical function, not incorporating any arbitrary contribution from the designer; (3) consisting only in a form whose exact reproduction is necessary for permitting that the product incorporating the design be mechanically mounted or connected with another product of which it forms a part.

Priority: an application validly submitted in a member country grants the priority right for a period of six months to apply for its registration in the other member countries or other countries which grant reciprocal treatment (i.e. Paris Convention).

Filing requirements:
1. Power of attorney from inventor or assignee, which can be granted through a private document and refer to one or several applications, without need of authentication or legalization. (Resolution 21447 in force as of April 11, 2012). A general power of attorney is valid for all patent applications to be filed on behalf of the same party, oppositions, trademark registrations, utility models or design cases. Powers of attorney must contain faculty for representing the grantor in court and out of it, and to appoint attorneys. If the applicant is a company or corporation, the power of attorney must contain a certificate as to its actual legal existence and functioning and of corporate powers of the officer who signs the power. For countries which are members of the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, the power of attorney given before a Notary Public will only need the Apostille;
2. An indication as to the kind of products for which the industrial design will be used, and their International Classification. The Classification of the Locarno Agreement of October 8, 1968, is in force;
3. Graphic representation of the industrial design. The Colombian Patent Office usually does not accept designs showing dotted lines. The interpretation being currently applied is that the legislation defines an industrial design as a product or as a part of a product, provided that once extracted from the set, it comprises a product per se. Usually, the dotted lines represent only a portion of the product which once extracted from the set, does not comprise a product per se. Likewise, the views of the design which are accepted by the Patent Office are the side (right and left), upper, lower, frontal, rear and perspective views;
4. As the case may be, a copy of the assignment document from the designer to the applicant. A plain copy of same duly signed by the designer(s) will be sufficient for filing at the Patent Office. (Resolution No. 21447 of 2012);
5. A certified copy of the application whose priority is sought to make valid. The declaration and the relevant documentation shall be filed jointly or separately with the application or, at the latest, within nine months from the date of filing the application whose priority is claimed.

Electronic filing: is available with 5% reduction of the filing fee.

Electronic signatures: digital and electronic signatures are accepted. Digital signatures must be certified by a national certifying agency (ONAC). Regarding electronic signatures, the Patent Office shall assess in each case if the signature complies with the validity requirements established by the law.

Examination, Protection

Examination and publication: once the application is filed, the Patent Office will examine if the application fulfills the filing requirements, and if so, its publication will be ordered. If the application does not fulfill the legal requirements, the Patent Office will ask the applicant to complete the application within a thirty-day term, extendable for a further thirty days after requesting and paying the respective legal fees and then the Patent Office will order its publication.

Opposition: during the following thirty working days from publication, any person having a legitimate interest may oppose the registration. Reply by the applicant must be submitted in the next thirty days following notification. An ex officio novelty examination will be made by the Patent Office only if the application is subject to opposition. If the industrial design lacks novelty, the Patent Office may, ex officio, deny the application.

Duration: ten years from the filing date of the application, non-renewable. No maintenance annuity fees are required for industrial designs.