As with patents, a “worldwide design” does not exist. Separate design applications must be filed in each country individually.

The first step (for our South African clients) to obtaining design protection in several countries is normally the filing of a design application at the South African Designs Office. Please click on the title “South African Designs” for more information, in this respect.

Thereafter, within 6 months of the filing of such South African design application, you will need to file the corresponding foreign applications in the countries in which design protection is sought in order to claim the priority date of the South African application under the International Patent Convention (also referred to as the Paris Convention). Most important countries are members of this convention.

However, it is important to notify us at your very first contact with us of the countries in which you wish to obtain design protection as design applications should be filed in all countries which are not members of the Paris Convention before the design is disclosed to the public. Please click on the title “Paris Convention Countries” for a list of Paris Convention members.

For more information on the individual countries, please select an appropriate country from the pull-down “Select a region” list at the top left hand side of this page or return to our home page and select a country using the interactive map of the world.