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Your Product

…has a new and original Design and you have identified the importance of protecting the aesthetic features of your Design from being copied by your competitors.  This protection can be realised through a Registered Design which is commonly referred to as the “baby brother” of Patents. Where a Patent provides the broadest form of protection for a novel idea and underlying principle of operation, a Registered Design provides protection when you incorporate a new and original Design to an idea or invention already in the market.  A Registered Design is an integral segment of any product focused Business’ Intellectual Property (IP) Roadmap, provides a monopoly and is deemed an asset to your Business entity.

Two Flavours of Design

Aesthetic Design

Related to the pattern, shape, configuration or ornamentation of an article with features judged solely by the eye

Functional Design

Related to the pattern, shape or configuration of an article with features necessitated by its function

South African

Registered Designs

Protection Type

Protect the unique aesthetics or function of your product across the whole of SA

Protection Period

Aesthetic Design - 15 years. Functional Design - 10 years. Protection period cannot be extended

Upkeep

First renewal due on the 3rd anniversary of your Design, subsequent renewals annually

Prerequisite

Your product must be new and the Design must be filed within 6 Months of going public

Only

Once-Off

Sign up now and we will register your Design for you at this seriously low once-off fee! We also offer a highly affordable payment plan.

We’re here to help

We know you want value for money and don’t want to pay the excessively high prices associated with big law firms. We also understand the cash-flow challenges during business startup. This is why we offer a highly competitive Design registration service and even provide an affordable payment plan. In fact, IP Braai was born to make legal services and legal education accessible and affordable to ALL South African Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners.

The Process:

Step1: Start here

  • You submit our application form & your Design information (Attorney-Client privileged)
  • We provide feedback on our preliminary review and arrange your free consultation
  • You provide the required applicant information and documentation
  • We conduct either an infringement search and/or newness & originality search (optional)
  • We draft your Design specification, prepare drawings and file your Design application

Step2: Formal Examination*

  • Within 9-15 Months, we receive feedback from the Registrar
  • We consider the outcome and report on our findings:
    • Scenario 1: Acceptance notice received, Oh-yeah! We proceed to the next phase
    • Scenario 2: Official action received, we fulfill the formal requirements
  • *The application is not substantively examined but only with regard to formal procedure

Step3: Publication

  • We receive the Notice of Acceptance from the Registrar once in compliance
  • We publish your Design in the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks Journal
  • The publication process requires a period of 2-3 Months
  • The date of publication is deemed the grant date
  • Congratulations! This means your Design is officially registered!

Step4: Certification of Grant

  • We obtain your certificate of grant and follow up with CIPC if required
  • We check and request corrections if necessary
  • We dispatch your certificate of grant via registered mail
  • Congratulations once again! You obtained the exclusive rights to your Registered Design.
  • The total Design registration period is around 18 – 24 months (CIPC dependent)

Please see the fees guide below.

Frequently asked questions

According to the Design Act, if a Design is “new and original” (in the case of an aesthetic Design), or “new and not commonplace” in the state of the art (in the case of a functional Design), then it may be registered.  Furthermore, a Design does not have to be subjectively appealing to qualify for protection as an aesthetic Design.

Perhaps 18 – 24 Months sounds like a big commitment?  Or maybe you want some confidence that this will work for you, before you sign up?  Well, you can learn more about Registered Design fundamentals or get in touch by completing the contact form.

Best practice is to file your Registered Designs application before your product is made public (before the release date).  However, there is a 6 Month grace period after the release date and thus your final opportunity to Register your Design. An exception to this rule is in the case of integrated circuit topographies and mask work; in these cases the Registered Design application must be filed within 2 years of the release date.  The Design cannot be deemed to be new if a Registered Design application has not been filed within these time limits.

Your Registered Design provides you with a monopoly which means no other entity, anywhere in South Africa, would have the right to make, import, use or dispose of articles, within the same class, representing your Registered Design or a Design which is not substantially different.

But how wide is the protection provided by your Registered Design? Well, the term “state of the art” includes all matter which has been made available to the public anywhere in the world. It can be made available via written description, use, prior registered Designs or in any other way.

The scope of protection of your Registered Design thus depends on the degree of difference between your Registered Design and the state of the art. If the degree of difference is large, the scope of protection tends to be wide. Alternatively, if the degree of difference is small, the scope of protection will be correspondingly narrow.

An infringement search is expensive due to the time, effort and expertise required. Furthermore, your Registered Design application undergoes a formal examination only. There is thus no substantive examination of Designs. This means filing your Registered Design application without conducting an infringement search could have one of two outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Your application is granted and your product is not infringing on any prior Registered Designs. You saved on the search costs.
  • Outcome 2: Your application is granted but your product might be infringing on a prior Registered Design. However, the onus is on the 3rd party to prove that your product is infringing on his/her Registered Design.

Also remember that no search can ever be 100% conclusive as the search results are dependent on the accuracy of the combined electronic and hardcopy database of the Design Office. In that light, we believe your Registered Design application may be filed without conducting an infringement search. However, if large capital investment is required to enter the South African market, an infringement search is advised.

Once your Registered Design is granted you are entitled to initiate legal proceedings against an alleged infringer for an interdict to prevent further infringement of your Registered Design, and for damages suffered as a result of infringement. The process typically starts by serving the alleged infringer with a letter of demand. This step is optional but recommended to officially make the alleged infringer aware of your product as you cannot claim damages if he/she is not aware of your product. Further proceedings are handled on a case by case basis.

CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) is a statutory body within the public administration and is the only way to register a Design. Some of the main functions of CIPC are the registration of companies, co-operatives and Intellectual Property (IP) Rights such as Trade Marks, Patents, Designs and Copyright as well as the maintenance thereof.

We know legal fee structures get very complicated and you often feel mislead. This is why we keep it as simple and transparent as possible. To register your Design, you only pay a once off fixed fee of R4750 or follow the fixed pay-as-you-go payment plan. Additional fees only apply in the following cases and depend on how you wish to proceed – you remain in control:

  • If an infringement search or assessment is requested 1
  • If a newness & originality search is requested 1
  • If you require additional Design(s) to be registered 2
  • If documents are received late and late lodging fees apply 3
  • If new Design drawings have to be drafted from scratch 4  

Please see the fees guide below for more detail or get in touch by completing the contact form.

We understand the cash-flow challenges during business startup which is why we offer a highly affordable payment plan for Design registration. We truly strive to make legal services and legal education accessible to all South African Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners. This payment plan is structured as a 25% deposit followed by 12 equal monthly installments. The Deposit is payable on acceptance of Design registration quotation and the installments are payable on the first day of the month starting on the month after quotation acceptance.

Please see the fees guide below for more detail or get in touch by completing the contact form.

A commercial infringement search is conducted to determining if your product will infringe on other pre-existing valid and in force Designs in South Africa. This search is expensive due to the time, effort and expertise required.  There is no intelligent electronic database for Registered Designs in South Africa. The only way to perform such a search is thus for a qualified and experienced IP Attorney to manually search through the combined electronic and hardcopy database of the Design Office, publications and conduct manual internet searches.  At IP Braai we believe in providing cost effective legal services to all South African Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners. In that light, we believe your Registered Design application may be filed without conducting a commercial infringement search. However, if large capital investment is required to enter the market, a commercial infringement search is advised.

Your Registered Design application undergoes a formal examination only. There is thus no substantive examination of Designs. This means filing your Registered Design application without conducting a newness & originality search could have one of two outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Your application is granted and there is no similar prior Registered Design. You saved on the search costs.
  • Outcome 2: Your application is granted but your Design might not be new in view of a prior Registered Design. However, the onus is on the 3rd party to prove that your Registered Design is not valid.

Furthermore, no search can ever be 100% conclusive as not all Designs are disclosed to the public via publications. Disclosure to the public can also occur by commercial exploitation for example, which would not be revealed during the search. There may also be substantial language barriers between Designs registered in different countries. In that light, we believe your Registered Design application can be filed without conducting a newness & originality search. However, if large capital investment is required to enter the market, a newness & originality search is advised.

Design registration is dependent on the CIPC process. The CIPC service turnaround times are available on the CIPC website.

Do you have any other questions? Feel free to get in touch by completing the contact form below.

Are you ready?

Once-Off

Sign up now and we will register your Design for you at this seriously low once-off fee! We also offer a highly affordable payment plan.

Why work with us?

  • We are truly focused and driven to break down all financial, cultural and educational barriers to quality legal services for business in South Africa.
  • Rest assured, we specialise in Design registration.
  • Receive preliminary Design filing guidance and recommendations.
  • We have a footprint close to the Designs Registry in Pretoria, Gauteng.
  • We can take care of your existing Registered Design portfolio.
  • Intellectual Property law is our thing and we provide all related legal services.
  • We can provide pro forma invoices and agree to fixed charges.

Fees Guide

Signing up for Design registration, you will not pay the CIPC official fees.

To register your Design, you only pay a once-off fixed fee or follow our highly affordable payment plan.  Additional fees only apply in the following cases and depend on how you wish to proceed:

  • If an infringement search of assessment is requested 1
  • If a newness & originality search is requested 1
  • If you require additional Design(s) to be registered 2
  • If documents are received late and late lodging fees apply 3
  • If new drawings have to be drafted from scratch 4
CIPC Official Fees IP Braai Fixed Fees

Step 1: Registered Design Application

Commercial infringement search (optional) 1

N/A

±R15000

Infringement assessment (client identifies prior art)(optional) 1

N/A

R5000

Newness & originality search (International)(optional) 1

N/A

R5000
Registered Design Application

R240

R3250

The same Design in an additional class 2

R240

R2250

Additional Design in the same class 2

R240

R2250

Step 2: Examination

Reporting on Official Action / Acceptance Notice

N/A

R500

Step 3: Publication

Publication in the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks Journal

±R90

R500

Step 4: Certification of Grant

Receive, verify and dispatch Certificate of Grant

N/A

R500

Registered Design Renewal

Individual Design Renewal

R77 - R149

R1500

Bulk Renewals (10 or more Designs)

R77 - R149 each

R500 each

Other Fees

Late lodging fee (documents received late from Client) 3

R44 each

R500

Drawing fee (1 Hour if editable drawings are provided)

N/A

R400 / hour

Drawing fee (4 - 6 Hours if new drawings are to be drafted) 4

N/A

R400 / hour

HAve any questions?

Check out the Registered Design FAQs. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us by completing the form below. We also appreciate any feedback helping us improve and better serve our community.