Bhutan Local Governance

FAQ Industrial Design

An industrial design is the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a finished product such as furniture, packaging (bottles, containers, and boxes), handicraft, textile, garment, jewellery, tool, cutlery etc.
Industrial designs are protected by registering with the IPD. Registration provides exclusive right to your industrial design. By registering, you can make a legal claim of ownership, and you have legal protection to prevent others from unauthorized copying or imitation (infringement) or against acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.
An industrial design must be NEW / NOVEL. An industrial design is new if it has not been disclosed to public by publication or by use or in any other way before registration.(rationale-grace period)
Under the Industrial Property Act of Bhutan you cannot register the following: 1. an idea 2. the function / technical features of a product; 3. the materials used in construction of a product ; and 4. Industrial designs which are considered to be contrary to public order or morality.
Industrial design makes a product attractive and appealing, and, they add to the commercial value of a product and increase its marketability. When an industrial design is registered and protected, this helps to ensure a fair return on investment. An effective system of protection also benefits consumers and the public at large, by promoting fair competition and honest trade practices. Protecting industrial designs helps economic development, by encouraging creativity in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and contributes to the expansion of commercial activities and the export of national products.
Once an industrial design is registered, the term of protection is five years, and is renewable for a further two consecutive terms of 5 years each. The total duration of protection is 15 years.
Filing of an industrial design should be made as close to the date of creation of your design or before the product is disclosed to the public or offered for sale or use anywhere in the world. If your design has been published, you must file for registration within 12 months of publication or disclosure.
An industrial design registered in Bhutan is only protected in Bhutan. Protection in other countries can be obtained by filing application in each country separately. However, to protect your novelty in other countries, application for registration will have to be filed within 12 months from the date of first filing in any of the Paris Convention member countries. Bhutan is a member to Paris Convention since 2000.
After filing your design application, it takes maximum of four to six months to grant the registration/protection provided there is no opposition or objection to your design.
It is mandatory to publish the industrial designs that are filed with IPD for opposition/objection. The publication is done through various mediums such as official bulletin, websites, television and print media.
Creator(s)/owner(s)/of an industrial design may apply for registration. The creator(s)/owner(s) can also authorize Registered Industrial Property Agent to apply for registration on their behalf. Where an applicant's ordinary residence or principal place of business is outside Bhutan, the applicant must appoint a Registered Industrial Property Agent.
1. Creator(s) of industrial designs 2. An individual/legal entity hires a designer under a contract to create / develop a design 3. Joint owners which means two or more persons working together to create/develop designs. 4. Someone who acquired ownership of the design, 5. An employer/company when the creator is employee who has created/developed a design as part of his/her employment
Yes you can register such industrial design if you have acquired ownership through license or assignment or authorization.
The role of IPD is to grant the legal right to the creator/owner of industrial designs by providing Certificate of Registration. The Division also publicizes the industrial design with the objective to promote and sensitize the general public on the ownership to prevent infringement/violation. In the event of litigation the Certification of Registration should be used as a proof of ownership. However, the enforcement of the rights does not fall under the purview of the Division. Hence, the matter should be dealt before the Court of Law by the creator/owner of the design.
Filing an application to register an industrial design requires:- 1. A completed application form (Form - ID1 “Application for Registration of Industrial Design) in English; 2. One copy of representation of the product to which the design is applied (drawings or photograph); 3. A statement of novelty in respect of the industrial designs to which the design is applied; and 4. Payment, in full, of the appropriate filing fee. For more information on fee structure please refer to the Schedule of Fee. (Hyperlinks where appropriate)
All application for the registration of industrial design must be lodged at the Intellectual Property Division. For further inquiries please contact: Industrial Design Registry Department of Intellectual Property Ministry of Economic Affairs Tel. No.: 02335233 / 326512 Fax No.: 02321145 Email: