Phase 1: Before filing
- Choose the design(s) to be protected.
- Check that they can be protected.
- Obtain any official documents needed.
- Complete the registration form.
- Put together an application.
Phase 2: Filing to examining
- On the day of filing:
- Submit the registration application and pay the required fees.
- The Office provides you with a receipt.
- Within one month of filing:
- The Office examines your application.
Phase 3: Registration
- If your application is in order:
- The Office informs you that the industrial design has been granted and invites you to collect the ownership title.
- The granting of your industrial design is published in the Annex to the Official Journal of Monaco to inform third parties.
Step 1: Choose the design(s) to be protected
You can submit up to 50 designs to the Office in a single filing.
However, this option is only open for designs belonging to the same class of products identified in the Locarno Classification.
This classification is therefore vitally important, as it determined the manner and cost of the protection granted.
E.g. Let’s suppose you want to file 20 reproductions of jewellery (Class 11.01). Since these articles all fall within the same class, you will only need to pay a single filing fee and a protection fee for each of the reproductions claimed.
However, if you are applying to register reproductions of jewellery (Class 11.01) and articles of clothing (Class 2), in this case you will need to file two separate applications and pay two filing fees.
Step 2: Check that your design can be protected
Protection is only granted to industrial designs that are new and original creations.
We strongly recommend checking that your design is novel, bearing in mind that if a design is disclosed to the public by its own creator, this is considered to deprive the design of its novelty, where it dates from more than ten years earlier, as from the filing date.
IMPORTANT: This check does not form part of the Office’s legal obligations during the administrative examination of the application. If you skip this check, you run the risk of being prosecuted for infringing a design registered earlier by someone else, who may seek not only to have the registration of your design annulled, but may also claim damages.
As a general rule, an industrial design is considered to be novel if it has not previously been disclosed to the public, and original if it differs significantly from prior known creations.
NOTE: in principle, these prior creations are not limited in time or space. They may also be protected by other legal instruments, such as trademarks or copyright, Owing to the complex nature of the search and the subsequent analysis, it is strongly advisable to take great care over this stage of the process, and to enlist the services of a professional such as an industrial property consultant (see list).
Step 3: Obtain any official documents needed
If you have already registered your design in a Contracting State of the Paris Convention, you have six months (following the first filing date) in which to extend its protection to Monaco while continuing to benefit from the first filing date. Any applications filed by anyone else during that period will not be enforceable against you.
To raise a priority claim with the Office, you should send us an official copy of the first filing and indicate it expressly on the application form. If this copy is not in French, you must provide a translation.
NOTE: If you are not the party claiming priority, you will need to supply written permission from the first applicant, authorising you to make the claim.
- Reciprocal arrangements:
If you are not based in Monaco and are not a national of a Contracting State of the Paris Convention, your application will need to be accompanied by (original) proof that your country of origin also grants protection to Monegasque nationals on a reciprocal basis.
If this proof is drafted in a foreign language, a translation into French must be provided with it.
- Power of attorney:
If you need to be represented by an agent in order to complete the formalities involved in filing directly at the Office, the arrangement must be formally set down in a power of attorney.
If the application is being filed by more than one party jointly, they must appoint an agent to represent all of them, who may be one of them or a third party.
The Office will issue a receipt in exchange for a general power of attorney, and will then accept copies of the receipt in lieu of a general power of attorney.
If your industrial design includes imitations of symbols, coats of arms, mottoes or official insignia of the State or Princely Family, your application must include a document indicating that you have permission from the competent authorities (original is required).
If you are not the creator of the design, you will need to ensure that you have the necessary permission to register it before applying to the Office.
Step 4: Complete the registration form
The registration application must be typed and must include the following declarations:
- For natural persons - the full name and domicile of the applicant.
- For legal entities - the company name and address and, if no agent is appointed, the status or capacity of the person signing the application.
- If an agent is appointed, their full name and domicile.
- The number and nature of the designs being registered and the order number (N°1, N°2, etc.) assigned to them.
- If applicable, the date on which the design was disclosed to third parties or the date on which it was first filed overseas (date of priority), along with the country of origin and the registration number.
- The number of the Locarno Classification class.
- The duration of the protection sought (10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years).
- The date of filing with the Office.
- The signature of the applicant or their agent.
Step 5: Put together an application
Along with your application for registration, you should include three identical copies, on A4 paper, of the following:
- On the front side of the paper, with no words or other references, a reproduction of the industrial drawing for which you are seeking protection, the sides of which must measure no less than 8 centimetres.
- On the back side of the paper, in the top right hand corner, the filing date, the applicant or agent’s signature and the number of the industrial design concerned in the case of a multiple filing. These numbers must follow a consistent logical order, without repetition or interruption.
NOTE: It is important to provide the Office with quality reproductions on a neutral background, with details where appropriate. The protection granted will extend only to elements that are registered, claimed and visible when published in the Annex to the Official Journal of Monaco. It may therefore be useful to subdivide a design into several parts, with different angles. In this case, on the day of filing you should provide an overview of the product for which you are claiming protection, with lines connecting the partial shapes. These shapes must be identified by means of reference numbers or letters.
- Where applicable, on one or more sheets of A4 paper, in three copies:
- On the front side of the paper, an explanatory legend explaining how the industrial design(s) is or are novel. The legend should not include any descriptions or instructions and must not seek to explain the usefulness of the product or its industrial output. If you are filing multiple designs, each legend may refer only to a single object (and it must bear the number of that object):
- On the back side of the paper, in the top right hand corner, the filing date and the applicant or agent’s signature.
- Where applicable, the official documents referred to in Step 3, such as a power of attorney, priority documentation or proof of reciprocal arrangements. IMPORTANT: Failure to provide these documents may cause your registration to be delayed, or in some cases may even result in your application being rejected.
Step 6: File your registration application with the Office and pay the required fees
Once you have collected all of the filing documents needed, you will need to submit them all by hand at the Office itself, and pay the necessary fees. Applications may not be filed by mail, email, fax or any other means.
The Office will provide you with a receipt indicating the filing number, date and time, and the amount of any fees paid. This receipt must be signed by the applicant, indicating their name and position or capacity.
Step 7: The Office examines your application
In the month after you have filed, the Office will examine your application for registration. This involves checking that it meets the formal conditions set out in steps 4 to 6 (the application must be correctly filled out, the reproduction of the design must be clear, the official documents must be appended, the Locarno Classification must be indicated, the fees must be paid, etc.) and ensuring that your creation is not contrary to public order or decency.
If there is a problem with the application, the applicant will be notified and will then have eight days to remedy the situation.
If the application is not remedied within this eight day period, the applicant will be informed that his application is inadmissible.
NOTE: the filing of an application for registration is not published. Consequently, correspondence between the applicant and the Office during this period of examination will remain confidential. At this stage, either the applicant or third parties may withdraw the application without penalty.
Step 8: The Office registers your design
If your application is in order, the design is registered by the Office within three months following the filing date. This means that your design will be entered on the national Design Register and will enjoy protection across the national territory for a minimum of ten years, starting on the filing date.
The Office will inform you that registration of the industrial design has been granted and invite you to collect the ownership title, also known as a “certificate of registration”. This certificate reproduces all of the information filed when you made your application. At the same time, the Office will arrange for the registration of your design to be published in the Annex to the Official Journal of Monaco.
IMPORTANT: In the general interest, it is advisable to read the certificate of registration carefully and inform the Office of any errors as quickly as possible (see section entitled “Reporting an error” under the heading “The life of your design”).