Registered designs (South Africa) must be renewed within the allotted timeframe and must be done on the 3rd anniversary of the registration. There is a six months grace period for the payment of the renewal fees, but it should be noted that a fine is also payable.
What happens if a Design Registration lapses?
The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. also handle restoration of design rights where the proprietors failed to do their design renewals on time. If for some reason a person fails to pay the renewal fees in time, there is a specific procedure that can be followed to ensure restoration. Note that only under special circumstances and well motivated will the restoration be allowed. If the lapse was unintentional one can apply for restoration of rights and this should be done duly to avoid permanent cancelling of the rights. The protection period is subject to the payment of the design renewal fees coming into effect at the anniversary in the 3rd year.
What is the lifespan of Registered Designs?
The period for design protection regarding functional design rights on an article is 10 years calculated from the registration or release date. The earliest date is taken. In case of an aesthetic design the maximum period for protection is 15 years also calculated from the release or registration date, based on the earliest one of the two. One can apply for design rights in various classes. It is imperative to register designs in as many as allowed and possible classes for the specific design to avoid possible infringements. If not registered in the specific class, one will not be able to take any action against an infringement occurring in that class.