To obtain protection in Spain, the design must be registered by filing a design application at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO).
It is possible to file “multiple applications” covering up to 50 designs, as long as all the articles to which the designs are intended to be applied fall inside the same class of the Locarno Design Classification. The advantage of filing such multiple applications is a reduced cost compared to single applications.
After the SPTO’s formal examination, subsequent examination considers only whether the subject matter of the application satisfies the legal definition of a design or is contrary to public order or accepted principles of morality. Where there are no irregularities or deficiencies or, where there are, after they have been remedied, a certificate of registration is issued and notice of grant is published with a representation of the registered design.
Spanish designs are usually published once they are registered, but this publication can be deferred for up to 30 months from the filing of the application. This results in the file and the design not being made public, although a mention that the publication has been deferred would appear in place of the usual publication. During the deferment period it is not possible to enforce the registration against a third party unless the registration has been communicated to them.
Opposition to the grant of a design on grounds that the design fails to fulfil any of the requirements for registration may be brought by any third party within two months of publication of the registered design. Opposition grounds may include grounds for refusal not examined ex officio by the SPTO.
Protection of a Spanish design is for five years, renewable for one or more successive five-year periods up to a maximum of 25 years.