What is a design right and what is the legal frame of its protection?

An industrial design is the outer visible appearance gained over the totality or a part of a product consisting of its special characteristics such as shape, line, color, form and/or its materials or its ornamentation. Designs are protected according to the Presidential Decree 259/1997. Other laws may also apply to designs, such as unfair competition law, consumer protection law, law of torts, etc.

What is the difference between an industrial design and an industrial model?

An industrial design protects a two-dimensional esthetic creation, whereas an industrial model is destined to protect three-dimensional creations.

How can an industrial design be legally protected?

As soon as the creator has produced his prototype and prior to its becoming accessible to the public of the relevant market, a design application must be filed at the Greek Patent Office. The application may be filed either in the name of the creator or in the name of a third party to which the creator may assign its own right for various legal reasons (contract for delivering a specific work, employment contract etc.).

Which are the substantial requirements for obtaining a certificate of registration of a design or a model?

In order for an industrial design certificate to be granted, the design must:

a) be novel, i.e. no identical design has been made available on the market prior to the date of filing of the design application, nor has there been any prior identical design application conferring protection in the Greek territory,

b) have individual character, i.e. it must create a unique impression enabling the informed consumer to identify the protected design from other relative designs already present in the market.

What can the holder of a design registration do against infringements? 

The design owner enjoys civil and criminal protection against infringers. He may file a civil action raising cease and desist claims and requesting compensation for material and moral damages, if applicable. Criminal prosecution may - under strict presuppositions - be sought as well.

What is the term of protection of a design right and how is it maintained throughout its term?

A design is protected for a term of up to 25 years subject to renewal fees every 5 years.

Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and International Designs in the context of Greek Design Law.

Design protection can be obtained in the Greek territory also via an application at OHIM for obtaining a Registered Community Design. Greece being a contracting state of the Hague Agreement on International Designs, these may be protected should Greece be designated in the relevant application. In either case, it is the Greek courts to be addressed by means of a civil action for obtaining design protection against infringers, including cease and desist claims and possibly damage recovery.


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