Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Registered Design vs Patent

Intellectual Property

A registered design protects the appearance of an article, unlike a patent which protects the invention on which an article is based. Even though the underlying principle of operation may be the same, a new appearance may be protectable by way of a registered design. In South Africa, the designs register is split into two sections. Firstly, an aesthetic design protects the appearance of an article, irrespective of the aesthetic value thereof (such as cell phones covers or automobile designs). Secondly, a functional design protects the appearance of an article in as far as its appearance is necessitated by the function that the article is to perform (such as a paving stone or aluminium profiling).

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor in exchange for the details of that invention. The procedure on how to get a patent might vary between countries, but a patent application should always include claims that define the invention. These claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, such as novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness. Obtaining a patent is a two-step process, but before you start with your application, remember to keep your invention a secret, and also do a Patent search to ensure that you do not infringe on some else’s invention.

Registered DesignPatent
Protects the appearance of an article.Protects the invention on which an article is based.
Duration
Aesthetic designs are protected for 15 years.
Functional designs are protected for 10 years.
Duration
Patents are protected for 20 years
(provided that it is renewed annually.)
Renewals
Renewed annually after the third year of registration.
Renewals
Renewed annually after the third year of registration.
Posted on 28 July 2016
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Intellectual Property in South Africa

Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio. We can assist with the protection, prosecution and enforcement thereof. It is our mission to provide unparalleled service to our treasured clients by developing dynamic solutions which are tailored to suit individual Intellectual Property needs. The key to achieving this lies with our vibrant people, who are eager to go beyond the call of duty.

Patent Attorneys
It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent. The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing and prosecution.

South Africa Intellectual Property
Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio.

Franchise Attorneys
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

PCT National Phase Patents
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.