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Serbia Amends Industrial Design Law

Jul 31 2015 - 12:59

The Law on Amendments to the Law on Legal Protection of Industrial Design, which came into force in Serbia on May 30, 2015, aims to further harmonize Serbian legislation with the EU and bring it in line with Directives 98/71/EC and 2004/48/EC.

The definition of the novelty of an industrial design is updated, now explicitly stating that the novelty requirements are fulfilled not only if there is no earlier application for an identical industrial design, but also if such earlier application has not been made available to the public.

The law on amendments also includes an exception to a disclosure of the industrial design, that is, the design will be considered disclosed if it was published following its registration or otherwise, or exhibited, used in trade or otherwise disclosed (before the date of filing of the application for the registration or, if priority is claimed, the date of priority), except in case these events could not reasonably have become known in the normal course of business to the circles specialized in the sector concerned, operating within the Republic of Serbia.

Although the law still provides for the description of the features of an industrial design as a mandatory part of the application, it simplifies its content, i.e. now the description should cover only the design’s original/novel features, whereas previously it had to cover the appearance of the whole product.

In terms of the design’s reproductions (drawings or photographs), the law now prescribes that they must display not only the design features, but also features of its parts visible during normal use. The reproductions must clearly display novel elements of the design as well as the elements that have not been publicly disclosed.

Furthermore, the scope of the protection granted to the industrial design is no longer determined by the description of the design based on the reproduction. The new law prescribes that the scope of the protection conferred by a design includes any design that does not produce a different overall impression on an informed user.

The law now includes new remedies that can be sought through an industrial design infringement lawsuit. The plaintiff is now entitled to call for the seizure or removal from the channels of commerce of the infringing items, materials, tools, etc. used to create the infringing products. The plaintiff can also seek compensation for the non-material damage suffered. Previously only industrial design authors were entitled to seek such compensation.

For the first time, the law introduces a revision, an extraordinary legal remedy that can be sought against final decisions, issued by second instances, in cases concerning industrial design infringement and use.

In line with Article 12.1 of the Directive No. 98/71/EC, the law amends the provision concerning the rights conferred by the design right by excluding the transit of products in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, as such products are not in free circulation and are not intended to be placed on the Serbian market.

Also amended are the provisions concerning the limitation of the rights conferred by the design right, that is, upon registration, such rights will not be exercised in respect of acts done privately and for non-commercial purposes (the pre-existing provision contained only an exclusion in terms of acts done for non-commercial purposes).

Finally, the accelerated examination of a request for an international registration of an industrial design, i.e. of national applications on which such requests are based, is no longer available (in line with the Hague Agreement, the international application does not require any prior national application or registration).

By: Tijana Milijanovic

For more information, please contact Tijana Milijanovic at our Serbia office.

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