A registered design protects the aesthetic appearance of an article. The Nigerian Patents & Designs Act allows for the registration of 2 different types of designs:
- Combinations of lines or colours or both (e.g. Textile Designs)
- Three-dimensional designs ( e.g. product packaging )
Conditions for Registrability
An industrial design is registrable if-
– it is new; and
– it is not contrary to public order or morality
Documentary Requirements for Registration:
- An application in the requisite form stating the article to which the design is to be applied.
- Statement of Novelty of the Design
- Specimens, photographic or graphical representations of the design.
- A Power of Attorney, if application is being made by an agent.
- An indication of the kind of product or class of product for which the design will be used.
- Foreign priority applications: a written declaration showing the date, number, country and the name of the person who made the earlier application. If unavailable at the time of application, the applicant shall within 3 months of application, furnish the registry with a certified copy of the earlier (foreign) application.
Documentary requirements for filing an amendment
- An application in the requisite form
- 6 specimens, photographic or graphical representations of the amended design.
- The representation of the design shall be made on strong paper and except where otherwise required, on one side only of a size approximately thirty- three (33) centimetres by twenty (20) centimetres and having amargin of approximately five (5) centimetres.
- The figure or figures contained in the representation shall be placed in an upright position on the sheet.
- Where the representations are drawings or tracings, they shall be in ink, and if on tracing cloth or paper, it shall be mounted on paper of the size prescribed above.
- Where words, letters or numerals appear in the design, but are not of essence to the design, they shall be removed from the representations.
- Acknowledgement Notice:
An application is made in the prescribed form and accompanied with the requisite documents to the Registrar, who issues a form to the applicant, acknowledging receipt of the application made.
- Examination (issuance of Acceptance Notice):
The Registrar will examine every application to ensure compliance with the documentary requirements prescribed by the Act as well as to ensure that the design is not contrary to public order or morality. In the event that the application fails to meet these requirements, the Registrar will issue arefusal notice in writing. An Acceptance Notice would be issued where the design application satisfies the prescribed requirements.
Upon the acceptance of the application, the design would be registered and a Registration Certificate would issue.
Upon Registration, a duplicate of the Design Certificate will be included in the Register of Industrial Designs. The Registrar is requested to publish a notification of the registration.
The registration of a design lasts for a period of 15 years after which it reverts to the public domain and is no longer renewable. Within the indicated 15 years, the proprietor is required to renew the Design every 5 years.
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