Registered Designs Act (Chapter 266)
A Design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by an industrial process. It is the appearance of articles we see everyday. An article refers to any object to which the design is applied.
Registered Designs are used primarily to protect designs for industrial use. Designs can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional and can be applied to everyday items. To qualify for registration, a design must, in general, satisfy two key criteria: New: It has not been registered in Singapore and elsewhere; or published anywhere in the world before the date of application of the first filing. Thus the owner of a design should be careful not to disclose the design to anyone, until a design registration is filed.
Industrial Process: A Registered Design applied to an article must be capable of an industrial process i.e. more than 50 copies of the article have been or are intended to be produced for sale or hire.
Under the Registered Designs law in Singapore, the following cannot be registered:
– Designs that are contrary to the public policy or morality.
– Computer programs or layout-designs of integrated circuits.
– Designs applied to certain articles: Works of sculpture (other than casts used or intended for use as models or patterns to be multiplied by any industrial process); wall plaques, medals and medallions; and printed matter primarily of a literary or artistic character (including book jackets, calendars, certificates, coupons, dress-making patterns, greeting cards, labels, leaflets, maps, plans, playing cards, postcards, stamps, trade advertisements, trade forms and cards, transfers and similar articles).
– Any method or principle of construction.
– Designs that are solely functional.
– Designs that are dependent upon the appearance of another article, of which it is intended by the designer to form an integral part; or enable the article to be connected to, or placed in, around or against, another article so that either article may perform its function.
4. Rule of Priority:
The design registration system in Singapore operates on a first-to-file basis. In other words, the first person to file for application will, in general, have priority over others
Singapore is a member of the Paris Convention from 1995, whereby applications from convention countries will be subject to the same priority date in Singapore. The application for priority has to be made within six months of the first application in a convention country.
Singapore is also a member of the PCT since 1995. An applicant who has made an international patent application may file and/or prosecute the patent application during its national phase entry into Singapore within 30 months from the filing date of the international application or from the earliest priority date of the application if a priority is claimed.
5. Rule of Priority:
“First to File” is the rule followed by Singapore in determining priority of patents.
6. Duration and Renewal:
A Registered Design can last for an initial period of 5 years. Thereafter, the registration may be renewed every 5 years up to a maximum of 15 years, subject to the payment of renewal fees