Designs protect the physical
appearance and visual appeal of products.
If you are the creator of a design, you will be regarded as the owner of
that design and entitled to apply for design registration with some
If someone believes that your design is not new they can challenge it after
it has been registered. To reduce the possibility of a challenge you can
search and view registered designs, to get an idea of whether your design is
You apply for Registered Design Protection by filing out the appropriate
application form and paying a fee. The competent patent office will send you
a receipt confirming all the details you have sent and the date the office
received your application. Once the patent office receives your application
and fee, an examiner will check it and decide if we need to object to it.
They will then send you a letter with the results of the examination within
a period of time of them receiving your application. This letter will tell
you if your design is acceptable. If the examiner objects to your design,
you will have up to a given time limit to:
- try to persuade us that the objections are not justified; or
- overcome them in some other way.
If there are relatively
straightforward ways of overcoming our objections, the examiner will tell
you about these in the examination report.
The Locarno Classification
system is used as a means of classification for industrial designs. Designs
are divided up in to classes based on what goods they will be applied to.
The Locarno Classification system is based on a multilateral treaty
administered by WIPO (The World Intellectual Property Organization). This
treaty is called the "Locarno Agreement Establishing an International
Classification for Industrial Designs", which came into being in 1968. The
agreement is open to those states who are party to the Paris Convention for
the protection of industrial property.
You do not have to specify classes when you make a design application. The
assigned examiner will do that for you as part of our examination of the
In some cases, you can also apply in writing to have a formal meeting (a
hearing) with a Hearing Officer who is a senior official in the Designs
Registry. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to put forward your
case which will allow the Hearing Officer to make a decision on the future
of your application.
You can either withdraw your application or we will write to you telling you
that it has been refused. The patent office will also refuse your
application if you do not reply to the examination report by the deadline
that the office gives you.
If the application is successful, the patent office will register your design
in the national and/or regional Designs Register; and publish your
registration details in Designs Journal.