What is a design?
A design is the ornamental or aesthetic appearance of a product produced by an industrial process. The design refers to the shape and form of a product, for instance, the special shape of a bottle or chair may constitute an industrial design.
As a general rule, an industrial design consists of:
(i) Three dimensional features such as the shape of a product;
(ii) Two dimensional features such ornamentations, patterns, lines or colour of a product; and,
(iii) A combination of one or more such features.
The law governing Industrial Designs
The law governing the procedure for obtaining an industrial design in Zambia is the Registered Designs Act Cap 402 of the Laws of Zambia.
How to Register an Industrial Design
Industrial designs in Zambia are registered under the Registered Designs Act Cap. 402 of the Laws of Zambia. Click here to view the Act. The application for registration of a design should be submitted on Designs Form No.1 - Application for registration of an Industrial Design It should include a brief description and drawings of the design, especially for three dimensional articles. The drawings should show the front, bottom and side view of the article for which design protection is sought. If the design is to be applied to textiles, four (4) specimens of the textile article should also be affixed to the application.
Applications involving state symbols
Design applications bearing the portrait of the Zambian Republican President, the British monarchy or of any member of the British royal family can only be registered with the consent of the authorities concerned . This exclusion includes reproduction of armorial bearings, insignia, flags of any country or city or portraits of any known person.
Conditions for registering an Industrial Design
It is a requirement under section 7(2) of the Registered Designs Act that the design be new and original . It should not be similar to another design already on the register owned by another individual or company.
Rights of a registered design owner
Registration gives the proprietor copyright in the registered design. The owner acquires an exclusive right to make or import for sale or for use in trade and business and to sell any article in respect of which the design is registered in Zambia. Design protection is territorial meaning it is only available in the country of registration. Subject to renewal every five (5) years, design protection is for a term of 15 years.
Post Registration Requirements for Industrial Designs
For a designed to be maintained on the register, it should be renewed five years after registration and thereafter two (2) periods of five years.
Assignments and changes of name
The registered proprietor may assign the design to a company or individual after registration. The application for assignment is made on Designs Form No.14 while the application to enter alteration of name or nationality of a registered proprietor of a design is made on Designs Form No.19.