From 30th June 2020, the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) has made its registered design data available on DesignView – a searchable international database of registered designs from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
What are Design Rights?
In New Zealand, a registered design protects the visual appearance of a product, or a part of a product. The protection can cover 3-dimensional shapes and product configurations, as well as patterns and ornamentation in 2-dimensions (such as wallpaper, textiles and labels).
Registered designs protect the way a product looks, not the way it works, and so purely functional designs are not protected (a patent may be more appropriate for protecting the functional aspects of a product). Examples of products that may be protected by registered design rights include tools, machinery, furniture, jewellery and clothing, as well as their packaging.
The protection afforded allows the owner an exclusive right to use the design in trade or business, including making, importing, selling or hiring any product for which the design is registered.
In New Zealand, so long as the renewal fees are paid, registered designs last for 15 years.
Why Search Designs?
In order to qualify for registration, a design must be:
- New and original
- More than just functional
- Appealing to the eye
A design search will help answer questions around novelty and originality. It can also address the likelihood of a product infringing any existing third-party patents and designs in those jurisdictions where you want to operate.
DesignView is a free global online tool from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that facilitates searching of over 16 million registered designs from the 72 participating offices around the world.
A range of IP right, bibliographic and legal status information can be searched and investigated, including the product indication, Locarno classification, ownership, legal status and registration date. Access to details at the office of origin is also provide.
The news of New Zealand joining DesignView follows closely the announcement that the EUIPO had launched improved versions of both its DesignView (designs) and TMview (trade marks) databases. The improvements include a wider set of search criteria and abilities to fine tune queries, a function to compare designs and trade marks side-by-side, and the capability to export to PDF, Excel and Word formats.
AJ Park. “Designs: Protecting your design in New Zealand”. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from: https://www.ajpark.com/assets/Uploads/Resource/Protecting-your-design-in-New-Zealand.pdf
Bainbridge D. (2012). Intellectual Property, 9th edn, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, England.
Curson A. (2020, April 21). “Expanding the Scope of Free Global Intellectual Property Databases”. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from: http://adcpatentsearch.co.nz/IP_Analytics_NZ/?p=294
European Union Intellectual Property Network. (2020, June 29). “News: New Zealand joins DesignView”. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from: https://www.tmdn.org/tmdsview-web/welcome#/dsview/news
European Union Intellectual Property Network. (2020, April 02). “News: The EUIPO has launched improved versions of TMview and DesignView”. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from: https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/#/tmview/news
European Union Intellectual Property Network. “DesignView”. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from: https://www.tmdn.org/tmdsview-web/welcome#/dsview
James & Wells. “Design registration FAQs”. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from: http://www.jamesandwells.com/resource/design-registration-faqs/
New Zealand Designs Act 2002, s5. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1953/0065/latest/DLM281716.html
New Zealand Designs Act 2002, s11. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1953/0065/latest/DLM281725.html
New Zealand Intellectual Property Office. “Designs”. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from: https://www.iponz.govt.nz/about-ip/designs/
New Zealand Intellectual Property Office. “New Zealand’s designs are now on EUIPO’s DesignView”. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from: https://www.iponz.govt.nz/news/new-zealands-designs-are-now-on-euipos-designview/