A Registered Design in South Africa protects the shape, form, pattern, ornamentation and configuration of a
product or article. The protection does not extend to the functionality of the product or article and is focused on
the physical appearance and associated physical features of the product or article. In view of the above, a
specification, claims and abstract are not required to be filed with the application for Registered Design
protection in South Africa. The design is to be exemplified by way of representations/drawings, which are then
In addition, protection in respect of a Registered Design in South Africa extends only to the class/es of
goods/services in respect of which the application has been filed.
With regards to registered designs, please note that there are two types of registered designs in South Africa,
namely aesthetic designs and functional designs. Aesthetic designs are judged solely by the eye and relate to
designs applied to articles in terms of the pattern, shape, configuration or ornamentation of the design.
Functional designs have features which are necessitated by the function and includes integrated circuit
topography and mask works related thereto. Please also see attached our brochure which sets out the
procedure and requirements to obtain valid registered design protection in South Africa in more detail.
In terms of the design process, please note that we shall file your design application as soon as we have
received all of the relevant information and documentation. The design application will proceed to examination
by the Designs Office in respect of all of the formal requirements at around 6-8 months from the filing of the
application. Once the application has been approved it will be deemed “Accepted” and the Designs Office will
issue a Notice of Acceptance in respect of the application. The design application will then be advertised in the
Patent Journal for a period of two months, known as the opposition period. Should no third parties lodge any
objections to the grant of the design during this period the application will proceed to grant and a Certificate of
Grant will be issued by the Designs Office. South African designs must be renewed annually from the third
anniversary of the earliest of: the South African filing date; the priority date or the release date. Aesthetic
designs expire after 15 years, and Functional designs expire after 10 years.
Once payment is made, we will proceed to file design application.
*Please note that the submitted design application has not yet been filed and will be sent to De Beer Attorneys Inc for filing. We will then
send you filing receipt after 2-3 days after filing. Accordingly, ideally, no non-confidential disclosure should be made until the application
has actually been filed as such disclosure may invalidate the Design.
Confidentiality: We confirm that all information received from yourselves will be held in confidence and that we will not use or disclose
any information received to third parties (apart from the South African Patents Office for submission who will also keep the documents
and information submitted secret).