The Designs Law actually supersedes the existing arrangement in this matter in the Patents and Designs Ordinance, 1924 (the "Ordinance" ) (except for samples submitted for registration until the law takes effect).
The design law is expected to come into force in about a year, bringing with it an important and easy line for local designers who have not registered their designs formally and have had difficulty enforcing their rights to protect Israeli designs of a variety of industrial products (profiles, furniture, housewares, jewelry, clothing, etc .
The new law is intended to provide protection for unregistered designs, but only by virtue of the Designs Law, while denying the grounds for protecting an unregistered sample under other laws as it was in the past (the cause of Passing Off under the Commercial Torts Law, 5759 - 1999 and the Unjust Enrichment Law, 5739-1979).
The protection of unregistered designs is designed to protect them especially when the designer is unable to bear the costs of registration or is not aware of the registration requirement for protection, and also when the product has a short shelf life, such as fashion products, especially clothing.
Designs that are not formally registered will first enjoy protection for 3 years (a very significant matter in the field of fashion design, textiles and household goods), provided that the design is new and unique in nature (Including via the Internet), within six months of the date on which it was first published publicly, in Israel or abroad.
Protection of unregistered designs will allow design owners to prevent the commercial production of a product that is copied in the same way or a designed product that creates a general impression that there is a similarity between the designs.
An unregistered designer who believes that his design is eligible for protection as an unregistered design may mark the design product and indicate that it is an unregistered design and the determining date that applies to the design - the date of its public publication for the first time. If an unregistered design owner has marked its product, it is presumed that the person who took advantage of the unregistered design or who committed an indirect violation knew or should have known that the unregistered designer believed that its design was eligible for protection as unregistered design.
The new law extended the design protection period to 25 years from the date of application for registration in Israel. A sample submitted to the registry prior to the entry into force of the new law will be granted an 18 year protection period (instead of 15 years according to the existing arrangement in the Ordinance).
Design shall be deemed to be new if, prior to the date of its submission in Israel or the date of the preliminary law, has not been published in public, in Israel or outside it, identical or distinct design in non-substantive details. In other words, the requirement in the Designs Law is now for a global, non-territorial renewal. However, a "grace" period is given for protection as a registered design if the publication was done within 12 months prior to the record date - the date of its submission in Israel or the date of the preliminary law.
Both graphical Icons and graphical screen display can be considered protected designs. In addition, the Designs Law distinguishes fonts and thus effectively corrects copyright laws and recognizes their bodies as an artistic work under the Copyright Law, 5767 - 2007, which is entitled to protection for seventy years from the publication of the font and excludes a number of permitted uses in their fonts (typing, word processing, Etc., even if they were made using computer software or other product that violates the right in their fonts).
Infringement of design (registered and unregistered), provides the holder of rights in the design the right to compensation without proof of damage in the amount of up to NIS 100,000 for any violation. In addition, a registered design owner may request customs to delay the release of goods suspected of violating his right to design (as opposed to an unregistered design).
The manufacture or import of a product with the same design as a design registered by way of business and commercial use without the permission of the registered design constitutes a criminal offense under the new law.
The Design Law includes provisions that will allow Israel to join the Hague Convention on Designs, which will allow Israeli applicants to submit international applications to the WIPO Office for Industrial Designs Registration and, by a single request, to request the registration of the design in all the States that are Parties to the Convention.
For further information please contact the Authors of the article:
Ido Chitman, Partner
YigalArnon & Co., Israel
Lihi Katzenelson, Associate
Media & IP Practice Group
YigalArnon & Co., Israel