What is a Registered Design?
A registered design may be obtained for a new shape or appearance of an article. A design is granted to an article to the extent that it is judged soley by the eye. The registration of a design enable the proprietor of the design to exclude others from copying and selling the design. Duration of a Registered Design An aesthetic design lasts for up to 15 years, and a functional design lasts for up to 10 years from the date of application or release date, which ever is the earlier (the release date can be up to 6 months earlier than the application date).
In order to keep a registered design in force, annual renewal fees are payable from the 4th year onwards. A registered design can not be extended beyond its full term. What is the difference between aesthetic and functional designs? Generally speaking, aesthetic designs relate to the appearance or eye appeal of an article. Features which are necessitated by the function of an article may be registrable as "functional designs". Spare parts are however not protectable by function designs but may be by aesthetic designs.
Requirements for a design to be registrable In order to be registrable, a design, whether aesthetic or functional, must be new or novel. In the case of a functional design, a further requirement is that the design should not be "commonplace". This is to exclude everyday and obvious variants of known designs.