Designs

There are various steps to ensure that designs, both aesthetic and functional, are protected. These steps include investigating the registrability of a design, submitting a design application, renewing licences and litigating where necessary.

This section unpacks what each of these steps entail and how KISCH IP assists clients.

Protected design types

There are two types of registered designs capable of protection:

Aesthetic designs
This is any design applied to any article, whether for the pattern or shape or configuration or ornamentation thereof, or any two or more of those purposes, and by whatever means it is applied, having features which appeal to and are judged solely by the eye, irrespective of the aesthetic quality thereof.

To qualify for registration as an aesthetic design, an article must be new and original.

Functional designs
This is any design applied to any article, whether for the pattern or shape or configuration thereof, or for any two or more of those purposes, and by whatever means it is applied, having features which are necessitated by the function which the article to which the design is applied, is to perform. This includes designs for integrated circuit topographies, a mask work and a series of mask works.

To qualify for registration as a functional design, an article must be new and not commonplace in the art in question.

Duration of protection
A registered aesthetic design is valid for 15 years and registered functional designs are valid for 10 years subject to the payment of annual renewal fees. KISCH IP sends renewal reminders to clients and facilitates payment on their behalf.

Design searches

KISCH IP conducts and reports on design searches to ascertain whether a design meets the requirements for registrability. We also conduct infringement searches to determine the countries or territories in which a design may be freely commercialised or utilised without fear of infringement.

Design applications
KISCH IP prepares, files and prosecutes local and foreign design applications, including attending to the formal requirements for the filing of both local and foreign design applications. Specifically, we procure the representations of the article to which the design applies, and draft the definitive statement that defines the scope of protection to be afforded by the design registration once granted.

Assignments & licensing

The rights in and to a design registration may be assigned or may devolve by operation of law. The rights of a proprietor of a registered design may also be licensed to one or more parties.

In the event of a rights transfer or license, KISCH IP provides the necessary documents, assists with transactions and attends to the recordal of such assignments or licences in any country.

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