Designs are the aesthetic features of items of mass production. Design rights started in the United Kingdom in 1787 with the Designing and Printing of Linen Act and have expanded from there.
For the past 70 years, the registration and protection of designs in Israel was governed by laws inherited from the British Mandate. Some of these were obsolete. For example, only local novelty was required, although this has been interpreted by Commissioner Circular to consider Internet publication accessible from Israel as published in Israel.
Today, Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, approved a proposed Israel Design Law in its second and third reading, that will come into force in one year’s time. The maximum protection for designs will be increased from 15 years to 25 years and Israel will now be able to ratify the Hague Convention, smoothing the process for Israeli designers to obtain international design protection and for foreign products to be protected in Israel.
Absolute world wide novelty is required to register designs. Variant designs may be registered by the same applicant.
A non-registered design right has been introduced, and the new law prohibits damages under the Law of Unjust Enrichment.
The designs that were registered under the old ordinance will now be able to get an extended maximum period of protection of 18 years instead of 15.
This development is welcomed.