Design applications don’t have not be complicated although the various terms and conditions may become confusing. A South African registered design protects the appearance of an article, unlike a patent which protects the underlying invention on which an article is based.

Design Application Process

First and foremost, KEEP THE DESIGN SECRET and do not market it or sell it until a South African registered design has been filed. Contact us to discuss the protection of your design. Should you wish to proceed with registration of a design, we shall, upon receipt of a deposit, prepare the design application including drawings or photos showing the design. The design application will, upon completion, be forwarded to you for approval. When you are satisfied that the design application is complete, we shall file it at the South African Design office in Pretoria.

Only after we confirm that the design application has in fact been filed may you disclose your design. (Note, however, the six month grace period for filing a design application as described above) It usually takes about eight months from the date of filing the application until notification of registration is received from the South African Designs Office.If foreign registered designs are to be applied for, we should be notified thereof at the outset, but foreign design applications may be filed in a number of countries within six months after the filing of a South African registered design. Such a design application may then claim the priority date of the South African design.

6 Months Grace Period

Unlike a patent for which absolute novelty is required, a design may be registered up to 6 months after the design has been disclosed or released to the public. However, if another party starts to produce an article during the six month period, which article would have infringed the design had the design been registered, it would not in future be possible to take action against the other party.

Filing Requirements
  • Power of Attorney.
  • Drawings, photographs or a sample of the design/model.
  • Deed of Assignment.
  • Priority Document.
  • Details of the Applicant:
    • Full names.
    • Physical address.
    • Nationality / country of incorporation.

The filing of a design application is then done at the CIPC which is located in Pretoria. After filing is confirmed, you as the client may disclose the design. It normally takes around eight months for registration to be completed.