Law firm Hedman Partners is once again teaming up with the Estonian Design Awards competition

Merlin Salvik, lead partner at Hedman Partners, said that any great designer should consider registering the product’s name and design characteristics as an EU trademark, as it will provide the assurance that the product’s name and visual identity will be exclusive, allowing designers to conquer even larger markets.

“Over 1200 trademark registration applications were submitted in Estonia last year, however the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in the EU received over 114 000 trademark registration applications in addition to the tens of thousands of applications that were submitted to the offices in member states,” noted Salvik. For Estonian entrepreneurs this may very well mean that hundreds of trademark owners may ban the use or registration of identical or similar trademarks across the whole EU. Thus registering the European Union trademark serves as a test whether the new product or trademark shares some features with an already existing creation or not.

The list of trademarks has grown to such lengths that even trademarks containing only Estonian words may already be registered as a trademark by some international global corporation. “Designers and entrepreneurs will need to plan for possible disputes or to diversify the use of trademarks in different markets through coexistence agreements,” added Salvik.

The Estonian Design Awards 2014 are hosted by the Estonian Designers Association, the Estonian Design Centre, ADC*Estonia and the Estonian Service Industry Association, the awards ceremony will be taking place in Tallinn on September 26th. The awards categories include best industrial design, best original design, best young designer, web and graphic design and service design. The Estonian Academy of Arts will present their own design education award this year. The Estonian Design Awards competition aims to promote, value and recognise great design that not only serves the purpose of aesthetic pleasure, but also solves problems and improves the surrounding environment by making it better and more human in a sustainable and environmentally sound way.

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