A design is the aesthetic make up of an article. What a registration does is to give the registrant an exclusive right to the use and exploitation of this aesthetic make up. Any an unauthorized use and/or exploitation of the design entitle the registrant to claim of damages. There are two types of Design registrations allowed by the Nigerian Patents & Designs Act.
1. Textile Designs (Combinations of lines or colours or both)
2. Non-Textile Designs (Three-dimensional designs)
Conditions for Registrability
A Design is registrable if-
- it is new; and
- it is not contrary to public order or morality
Documentary Requirements for Registration:
- Power of Attorney;
- Statement of Novelty of the Design;
- Specimens, photographic and/or graphical representations (drawing) of the design;
- An indication of the kind of product or class of product for which the design will be used.
Foreign Priority Application:
Where an applicant intends to claim priority of a foreign design application/registration, a written declaration showing the date, number, country and the name of the person who made the earlier application will be required. 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/registration.
- The representation of the design shall be made on photographic/bromide paper and on one side only of a size approximately thirty- three (33) centimeters by twenty (20) centimeters and having a margin of approximately five (5) centimeters.
- 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.
Application for Registration:
Once an application is made in the prescribed form and accompanied with the requisite documents to the Registrar and upon the payment of the requisite fees, a Filing Receipt, acknowledging the application made will issue.
Examination of Application:
The Registrar will examine every application to ensure compliance with the documentary and statutory requirements prescribed by the Act. Once the requirements are met, the application will proceed to acceptance and grant. In the event that the application fails to meet these requirements, the Registrar will issue a refusal notice.
Upon the registration of a design, the Registrar is required to publish a notification of the registration.
Registration of a design lasts for a period of 5 years, renewable for two consecutive periods of five years each. Therefore, the cumulative life span of a design registration is 15 year, after which it reverts to the public domain.