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How to apply for a design abroad

The protection granted by INPI - National Institute of Industrial Property is only valid in Portugal. If you want to protect a design in another country, you must apply for registration abroad.

To ensure design protection abroad, you can choose to apply for the design registration:
  • in the country where you want to protect the design
  • at EU level, through the European Union of Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
  • at the international level, through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Register in the country where you want to protect the design

If you want to protect your design directly in one country or in several countries separately, you should go to the body responsible for Industrial Property protection in that country and fill the application for registration.

Consult our contact list of international organisations to know where to go.

Protect a design at the EU level

To ensure the protection of a design in the 28 countries of the European Union, apply for protection of a EU design at the European Union of Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), based in Alicante.

With this type of application, registration is requested in the 28 countries en bloc, and it is not possible to limit the protection to certain countries.

To find out if the design is not yet registered in any of the Member States, please consult DesignView, a common database, which is managed by EUIPO and is available in the 28 official EU languages.

The EUIPO does not analyse the novelty and unique character of the design, nor does refuses the application based on those requirements. It is limited to verifying that the design corresponds to its definition and is not contrary to public policy and morality.

The protection of design at EU level can be achieved through:


The registered EU design guarantees protection for up to 25 years

To register, submit the application to EUIPO:

  • online (easier and faster)
  • by fax, to +34 965 131 344
  • by post, to
    Avenida da Europa, 4
    E-03008 Alicante
  • at the reception of the institute (from 8h30 to 13h30), in
    Avenida da Europa, 4
    E-03008 Alicante

The registration of the design is valid for 5 years and may be renewed 4 more times (for a total of 25 years of registration).

This registration entitles the exclusive use of the design and prohibits the manufacture, offering, placing on the market, import, use or storage for these purposes of products in which the design is incorporated, provided that such goods do not present a different overall view.

An unregistered design ensures protection for 3 years

To ensure the protection of an unregistered design, you do not need to place an application. This protection is valid for 3 years from the date of the first public disclosure of the design and cannot be renewed.

This type of protection only gives the right to prohibit copying of design and is difficult to prove.


The application in Portugal gives you priority in registering abroad

If you have applied for registration of the design in Portugal for less than 6 months, that application shall ensure priority in the application for registration in any member state of the World Trade Organisation or the Paris Union Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Therefore, it will be considered as the date of the application for registration abroad the date of the application you made in Portugal. This prevents similar designs from being registered that preclude your registration.

Apply for an international registration through WIPO

Portugal is not part of The Hague system for the International Registration of Designs. However, the European Union (EU) is. Therefore, a Portuguese citizen, as a citizen of an EU Member State, can protect a design in more than 60 countries with a single application. The request must be submitted directly to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Information updated on 16 November 2020 15:45