What is a Design Patent?

A Design Patent is able to protect the unique look of your product even if that is the only thing “new” about it. But it is important to keep in mind that a Design Patent only protects the way your invention looks. You should understand that because of this, the protection is limited when compared to a Patent as a Design Patent will not necessarily protect how your invention works or is made.

You may consider adopting the following strategies to protect your design:

• Only the owner of a design is entitled to register a design. An owner may obtain ownership by commissioning the creation of the design, or under an employment contract to create the design or by assignment of the design, etc.

• Only new designs are registrable. You need to keep your design confidential until you file an application to register it. Using your design in manufacturing, publishing it, or disclosing it, for example by publishing it in a catalogue or placing an order to manufacture the design product, before filing may mean that even if your design becomes registered, the registration will be invalid because your design could not be considered as new on the date of application.

China Design Patent Registration:

Requirements:A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which gives a product a unique appearance, and must be new and distinctive.

Protection period: The duration of the Design patent right shall be 10 years.

Required Documents:

  • Patent Documents (Brief description of the appearance design and Drawings of the designed product)
  • The name of invention, the name and address of applicant, the name and address of inventor
  • Power of Attorney

Affiliated Office and Duration:

State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic (SIPO)

Normal process (8-12 months)

Application→Deficiencies Checking→Publication and Recordation→Issuance of certificate

*Remark: The patentee should pay annual fees to maintain the right of patent.

Hong Kong Design Patent 

Requirements:A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which gives a product a unique appearance, and must be new and distinctive.

Protection Period: The registration of a design lasts for five years beginning from the filing date. It may be extended for additional periods of five years, up to a maximum of 25 years from the filing date.

Required Documents:

  • Patent Documents (Brief description of the appearance design and Drawings of the designed product)
  • The name of invention, the name and address of applicant, the name and address of inventor
  • Power of Attorney

Affiliated Office and Duration:

Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (HKIPD)

Normal process (3-6 months)

Application →Deficiencies Checking →Publication and Recordation →Certification

*Remark: The patentee should pay annual fees to maintain the right of patent.