FAQ about designs

Here we answer the most common questions we are asked about designs.

Video tips: The PRV School on designs

You might like to start by looking at the PRV School’s section on designs, which gives an introduction to design protection.

The PRV School on designs

  • A design registration protects the appearance of the product, but not its function.
  • A patent protects the technical solution to a problem, but not the appearance of the product.

Consider whether you need to obtain supplementary protection through patent and trademark protection. Read more about the differences between different forms of protection.

The differences between different forms of protection

Patents

Trademarks

If your product has a novel and distinctive appearance, you can apply for design protection. You can apply for registration via our Swedish Design Application e-service or by submitting the form entitled "Swedish design application". Attach photographs or illustrations showing the appearance of your product.

The Swedish Design Application e-service (external website)

Forms for applying for design

You will find information on design fees, including application, additional and renewal fees here.

The fees payable for designs can be found here

Your design registration will be valid for a period of five years from the date of application. When you apply for the first time, you can opt to apply and pay for several five-year periods directly. When you renew your registration, you will have the same option to renew and pay for several periods at a time. You can acquire exclusive rights to your design for up to 25 years.

You can read more about how long a design registration is valid for here

Your design will be placed in a specific class based on the product's area of application. To find the right class, you can use DesignClass, the EUIPO’s design classification database. If you are still unable to find the right class, you can add additional information to your application describing the area of application of the product. This will help the case officer to place your product in the right class.

DesignClass (external website)

Find out more about how to assign your product to the appropriate class

To see if the product has already been registered, search the Swedish Design Database. To obtain relevant hits, choose a main class and then a subclass which includes your product.

Perform a search in the Swedish Design Database (opens in a new window)

You can also search design registrations in the EU via the EUIPO’s DesignView design database.

DesignView (external website)

Your design application must contain images which clearly show your product, because the design protection will be based on these images. It is important that the images show the overall appearance, and it can therefore be a good idea to submit photographs taken from different angles. Clearer images will improve the quality of your registration. If your application contains more than one image or view, we will charge a fee for each additional image in addition to the first.

Here are some tips regarding the attachment of images

No, not automatically. In your application, you must state that images and models must remain confidential for a certain period of time, but no more than six months from the application date. Other information in the application will always be made public. If you withdraw your application within the period covered by confidentiality, the images and models will not be considered to be publicly available. They will therefore not be seen as a ‘novelty destroying disclosure’ if you apply at a later date.

Find out more about design confidentiality

Yes. A design registered with PRV is valid in Sweden. To protect your design within the EU, you must submit a separate design application to the EUIPO. You will find their e-service, application forms and fees on their website.

EU design, EUIPO (external website)

There are three ways of registering your design internationally:
Apply directly to the intellectual property offices in the countries concerned.
Apply to the EUIPO in order to cover all EU Member States.
Apply to the WIPO to cover WIPO-affiliated countries outside the EU. The EU as a whole is also affiliated to the organisation.

Find out more about applying for design registration outside Sweden

The design you want to protect must be novel. If you have made it public before you apply for a design registration, you have 12 months to submit your application to us. This is known as a novelty deadline.

It may therefore be important that you can prove when your design became public. Remember that not all non-EU countries apply a novelty deadline.

Find out more about novelty deadlines here

From the date on which you submit your application, a six-month period with what is known as ‘right of priority’ will commence. During this period, you can apply to register the same design in other countries. Your registration in the new country will then be valid from the date of your application in the first country. This priority system links applications together and prevents the novelty requirement from being affected.

The priority period will help to protect you if anyone else should apply for a similar design abroad after you have submitted your first application. Once you have submitted an application in the first country and are intending to apply with priority within six months, remember to refer to the priority at the time you apply in the new country and state the country you submitted you applied in, the application date and the application number of your first application.

Find out more about International protection for designs

Yes. When we register your design, we will publish it in the Swedish Design Database. We will also publish an announcement in the Design Bulletin (Registreringstidning för design). If you have requested that the images in your application be kept confidential for a certain period of time, we will postpone registration and publication until this period has expired.

You can cancel the confidentiality earlier if you wish. To do this, you must submit a written request and state the date on which you want the design to become public. The letter must have an original signature.

Find out more about design confidentiality

PRV offers training and courses where you can learn more about design protection. You can also attend the PRV School online to learn more. An entire chapter in our school is dedicated to design protection.

You can read more about our courses here

PRV School online

Our customer support is there to answer your questions and queries. Customer support can also help you get in touch with our experts if necessary. Customer support also has an extensive network of contacts with other innovation actors and can advise you on who to contact for further support and advice.

Contact our customer support on phone: +46 (0)8 782 28 00