For foreign agents.

Information regarding South African Designs Filing requirements


At the time of filing, the name and address of the applicant, drawings of the item and the title and priority information.

In urgent cases where priority is to be claimed, the name and address of the applicant, the title together with the priority information (the drawings must be received within 14 days of lodging the application)


1          Declaration and Power of attorney.    This document should be signed by the applicant or an officer of the applicant (i.e. a director,  president or vice president of a company) whose name and position should be given.  It does not require to be legalised or notarised. We do however need to file the original. [ The Power of Attorney should be filed within 6 moths of lodging the application (extensions are generally easily obtainable)].


2          Priority documents  (if necessary)


The Priority Document should be filed within six months of filing although extensions can be obtained.


Types of Designs

There are two types of Designs viz. Functional Designs and Aesthetic Designs.  The main differences between these two types of Designs are as follows:-

1 Functional Design

This covers pattern and/or shape and/or ornamentation thereof (i.e. excluding ornamentation thereof), features which are necessitated by the function which the article is to perform and includes integrated circuit topography, a mask work and a series of mask works.  The term is 10 years.

2 Aesthetic Design

This covers the pattern and/or shape and/or configuration and/or ornamentation thereof. Probably this does not cover functional features. The term is 15 years.


If desired, two applications can be simultaneously filed for the same design, an aesthetic design and a functional design at a reduced fee.


Prosecution costs


  • Normally there are no further prosecution costs.
  • Design Applications are usually examined (only as to form, there is no substantive examination) within ten months of filing and Registration takes place about a year after filing.
  • Accelerated Acceptance can be informally applied for and is usually granted so long as all the requisite forms have been lodged.



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