An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features such as the shape and configuration of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as pattern and ornamentation. The design features must be applied to an article by any industrial process or means of which the features in the finished article appeal to eye.

Filing of an industrial design should be made at the earliest possible time or before an article is disclosed to the public. Prior disclosure will destroy the novelty of the design. So extreme care should be exercised to ensure secrecy of the design.

A registered industrial design confers the owner of a registered design the exclusive right to make, import or sell or hire out any article to which the design has been applied. Other users should obtain the consent of the rightful owner before using the design. The owner of a registered design has the right to take legal action against an infringer within 5 years from the act of infringement.

A registered industrial design is given an initial protection period of 5 years from the date of filing and is extendable for a further four consecutive terms of 5 years each. The maximum protection period is 25 years.

An industrial design registered in Malaysia is only protected in Malaysia . In order to have your designs protected in other countries, applications for registration will have to be filed within six month from the earliest date when it was first filed in any of the Paris Convention member countries.

Anytime after the application has been filed. Applicants wishing to exploit the design in foreign markets may do so by obtain well corresponding protection abroad.

Registered designs are open to public inspection and the details of the registration and the details of the registration are recorded in the Register of Industrial Designs and published in the Intellectual Property Official Journal.

To be registrable an industrial design must be new at the date an application for its registration is filed. A design is considered to be new only if it has not been made available or disclosed to the public in any way whatsoever in Malaysia or elsewhere before the filing date of the application and it is not on the record the Register of Industrial Designs.

The designs of certain types of article are specifically excluded from design registration. An industrial design is not registrable if: the aesthetic appearance of an articles is not significant or the design features differs only in immaterial details;

  • it is a method or principle of construction;
  • the designs are contrary to public order or morality;
  • the designs of the articles concern exclusively with how an article functions; and
  • the designs of articles that are integral parts of other articles and whose features are dependent upon the appearance of other article.

Only the owner of a design may apply to register the design, though an agent can be authorized to make the application.

Where an applicant's ordinary residence or principal place of business is outside Malaysia, the applicant shall appoint an agent registered in the Register of Industrial Designs Agent.

A completed application form (ID Form 1) in Malay or English;

  • One copy of representation of the article to which the design is applied (drawings or photograph);
  • A statement of novelty in respect of the industrial designs to which the design is applied. (However a statement of novelty is not required when registering wallpaper, lace or textile articles); and
  • Payment, in full, of the appropriate filing fee.

All application for the registration of industrial design must be lodge at the Industrial Designs Registry, Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia.

Source: Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO)

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