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FAQ - Registered Design 

1. What designs can be registered?

Any new design which can be applied for any industrial process is registrable.  A “New Design” refers to the said design has not been previously published, registered or disclosed in anywhere else.


2. Specifically, which kinds of product designs can be registered?

For example: plastic drinking water bottles, packaging bags (boxes), patterns on the watch straps, shape of cups, toy model cars, skin care containers, soft toys, novelty jewelry design, textiles, telephone, etc.


3. Once granted, what does a registered design allow the owner to do?

Registered design owners have the right to prevent others from manufacturing, importing, using, selling or hiring the same or similar design for their registered design.


4. What is design infringement?

Infringement may occur if a product design does not have substantially different from a registered design.  In addition, to make, to sell, or for use for the purpose of trade or business, or expose for sale or hire the registered design without the consent of the registered owner, the right in a registered design is infringed.


5. What is priority right?

According to the Paris Convention agreement, the priority right allows a design owner to file the subsequent application(s) in other member countries for the same design within six months, claiming a priority date based on the filing date of the first application is filed in the Paris Convention country.  The design novelty would not be destroyed due to the disclosure of the design.


6.What is the difference between design patent and invention patent?

While a registered design (patent for design) protects the appearance of a new product design, including its shape, configuration, pattern, ornament, or their combination, which creates an aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application; patent for invention protects any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or improvement.


7. When should you apply for protection?

It is advisable to file the application as swiftly as possible.

Also, you should keep your design confidential until the filing of the application.  Otherwise, your registered design may be invalid due to the lack of novelty, it is because your design was not considered as new at the time of filing.


8. What is Novelty?

“Novelty “ is a requirement for patentability. A design is new if the design has not been published or disclosed inHong Kongor elsewhere before the application, and no identical design has been disclosed before it.


9. How long will it take to register a design?

InHong Kong, for a smooth application, it takes around three months to obtain a certificate of registration.  ForChina, it normally takes around 10-12 to obtain a certificate of registration.


10. How long is a registered design valid in Hong Kong and PRC?

InHong Kong, a registered design can last up to 25 years from the date of filing if renewal fees are paid every 5 years.  InChina, the maximum protection is 10 years, subject to the payment of annuities.