Examination Process

Filing date and application number assignment

The filing date of an application for registration of a design shall be the date on which the applicant pays the prescribed filing fee and files at the Patents office documents which contain in the prescribed form -

  • a request for registration of a design or designs
  • a representation of the design or designs suitable for reproduction, and
  • the name and address of the applicant.

When an application containing the required minimum information is received, firstly a receipt is issued in respect of the prescribed fee and usually this will issue within 2 days of receipt of the fee.

Then a filing date and application number is assigned, and a filing receipt is issued usually within 7 working days.

For a multiple application, all of the designs in that multiple application are allocated application numbers, each one corresponding to one of the designs contained in the multiple application. Similarly, each of the designs is allocated a separate registration number upon registration.

Review by examiner

The application is then checked by an examiner to determine that the formal requirements are complied with. If an examiner has a query or requests clarification, the applicant will be contacted and will be given time in which to respond.

Certificate of registration and publication

When the application is accepted and in order for registration, it is then registered and a certificate of registration is issued to the proprietor. The registration of the design is published in the Journal.  In some cases, this will not happen immediately upon registration, for example, if there has been a request for deferment of publication and the period of deferment is still running. The notice published in the Journal includes a representation of the design. If more than one representation of the design is filed, the representation published is usually the first in the series filed, unless the Applicant has requested otherwise.  The Journal is available free to download online or copies may be purchased from the Patents Office.

Duration of registration

When a design is registered, protection is granted initially for 5 years. Protection can then be renewed for four further periods of five years each (on payment of the prescribed fee), giving a maximum of 25 years protection from the date of registration.