An industrial design is a two-dimensional or three-dimensional solution regarding the appearance of a product. The key to the appearance is in the composition of the features that consists, either separately or in combination, of the form, configuration, ornament, colour(s), texture and material of the product. It is important to note that there are restrictions to the design of a spare part or component which is not visible in normal use when assembled in a finished product and these will not be able to be considered as an industrial design (such as a damper in a car, since it is covered by the bodywork).
In order to be granted legal protection for an industrial design, an application for the registration of the industrial design must be filed with the Patent Office. A registration application may include one industrial design, the variants of an industrial design (the variants of an industrial design are such modifications of the industrial design which produce a similar overall impression on persons knowledgeable in the field) or a set of industrial designs (a set of industrial designs is a logical group of industrial designs which belong to the same class and are designed in the same manner). Legal protection is granted to industrial designs which are novel, have an individual character and may be used for manufacturing industrial or handicraft products. The applicant will have to bear the risk of its industrial design corresponding to these requirements since the Patent Office does not carry out an examination in the process of registration.
A registration of an industrial design is valid for five years from the filing date of the registration application. A registration may be renewed by an owner of an industrial design for a period of five years at a time up to a total term of twenty-five years as of the filing date of the registration application. Registration of an industrial design will normally be granted within 2 to 4 months.
The Industrial Design Protection Act of the Republic of Estonia came into force in 1998.