An applicant obtained a patent for design No 83063
concerning a bathtub. An interested person opposed the grant of
the patent averring that the patent did not satisfy the
patentability criteria, i.e. novelty and originality.
To support his claim the appellant referred to a catalogue
of bathrooms SVEDBERGS of 2004 (Sweden) in which there is a
picture of a bathtub, Anastasia, the outer appearance of which
produces the same general visual impression on the informed
consumer as the design covered by the patent under appeal.
The Chamber of Patent Disputes examined both images and made
comments regarding the cited source of information.
There are regulations concerning industrial designs.
According to paragraph 23.3(1) of the regulations, publicly
available sources of information are considered those with
which people may familiarise themselves or the contents of
which may lawfully be available to them.
The cited catalogue is an illustrated book and the title
page of the catalogue has an inscription saying Catalogue for
Bathrooms 2004 and the name of the company, SVEDBERG®.
There are stipulations for print editions, requiring there
to be some information allowing the user to establish the date
of issue of the catalogue. There is no such information in the
catalogue. This makes it impossible to ascertain the date of
printing of the catalogue. Besides, the setup and contents of
the catalogue seem to be characteristic of advertising
material. Therefore, it should be copyrighted subject matter
and be owned by the manufacturing company or by the publisher.
In such circumstances it may acquire the status of a publicly
available source as a result of actions of the owner (for
example placing it in libraries, sales to third persons,
advertising, etc.). However no such documentary evidence was
presented by the appellant.
As a result, the submitted catalogue cannot be regarded as a
publicly available source for the purpose of examination of
patentability of the industrial design covered by patent No
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