Protection of Industrial Property

"The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conductive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations."

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Article 7

The protection of industrial property is an inseparable part of the constitutional legal order. Industrial property is protected under § 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, providing that the property of every person is inviolable and equally protected. Everyone has the right to freely possess, use, and dispose of his or her property. Restrictions on the right of ownership shall be provided only by law. Property is not allowed to be used contrary to the public interest. Under § 39 of the Constitution, an author has the inalienable right to his or herwork and the state protects the rights of the author.

Estonian legislation regulating the legal protection of industrial property has taken into account the provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization and the agreements administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization as well as the legal acts of the European Union.

Restrictions on the right of ownership can only be prescribed by law. Industrial property rights are protected in court. The court system of the Republic of Estonia consists of courts of three instances. Court cases related to industrial property fall within the jurisdiction of the court in the jurisdiction of which the Estonian Patent Office is located – Harju County Court.


1992  Trade Marks Act

1994  Patent Act

1994  Utility Model Act

1997  Industrial Design Protection Act

1998  Act on the Protection of Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits

1999  Geographical Indication Protection Act

2002  Penal Code

2002  Act on implementing the Convention on the Grant of European Patents

2002  Customs Code (unlawful carriage of goods over the customs frontier)

2004  Principles of Legal Regulation of Industrial Property Act


Accession of the Republic of Estonia to multilateral international treaties in the field of industrial property, which are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization

Treaty   Estonia acceded
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)   12 February 1924
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Stockholm Act, 1967)  
Remarks: Estonia acceded the Paris Convention  (Washington Act, 1911) with effect from 12 February 1924. It lost its independence on 6 August 1940 and regained it on 20 August 1991. Source: WIPO publication No 423 of 5 November 1998.
24 August 1994 (re-acceded)
Convention on Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (Stockholm, 1967)   5 February 1994
Patent Cooperation Treaty (Washington, 1970)   24 August 1994
Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of Registration of Marks (1957)   27 May 1996
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Microorganisms for the purpose of Patent Procedure (1977)   14 September 1996
Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs (1968)   31 October 1996
Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification  (1971)   27 February 1997
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1989)   18 November 1998
Trademark Law Treaty (1994)   7 January 2003
Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Design (1999)   23 December 2003
Patent Law Treaty (2000) 28 April 2005
Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (2006) 14 August 2009