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Forms part of

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property; and
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

An industrial design is defined as:

  1. any combination of lines and/or colours intended to give a special appearance to any object of industry or handicraft.
  2. any three-dimensional shape, whether or not associated with colours and any object of industry or handicraft that may serve as a pattern for the manufacture of other articles and is distinguished from similar objects or shapes either by a different recognisable configuration which gives the shape a novel character or by one or more outer effects which give it a specific novel appearance.

The Locarno International Classification is used.

Absolute novelty applies.

There is a six-month grace period.  The novelty of a design will not be destroyed by the disclosure of the design within six months prior to the filing date on account of:

  • an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or their predecessor in title;
  • or the display of the design by the applicant or their predecessor in title at an official or officially recognised exhibition.

Design applications are examined as to compliance with formal requirements only; i.e. the novelty of the design is not assessed.

A design is valid for five years from the filing date and may be renewed for a further five-year period; i.e. the maximum term of a design is ten years.

A design may not be renewed for another five years if same was not worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.