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Designs are intellectual property rights that can be used to protect new features in the way an article looks, for example, features of its shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation.
The article may be manufactured in three-dimensions, although some two dimensional items such as textiles can also be registered as designs.
For a New Zealand design to be granted that design must be novel. The application to register the design must be lodged before the design is used or shown to other people.
It is not possible to protect features of shape or configuration which are dictated solely by the function which the article to be made in that shape or configuration has to perform.
A design registration can be kept if force for a period of time up to 15 years. During this time the registered proprietor of the design has the exclusive right in New Zealand to make, import, sell, hire or offer sale or hire any article in respect of which the design is registered.
We can assist you with the following:
- pre-registration searches and advice
- preparation of design drawings
- preparation, filing and prosecution of New Zealand and foreign applications
- preparation, advice on and recordal of assignments and licences
- enforcement and use of design rights and related copyright including court proceedings
- advice on infringement and validity