Industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article, whether in terms three-dimensional design features such as the shape and configuration of an article, or two-dimensional design features, such as pattern and ornamentation.
The design features must be applied to an article by any industrial process or means of which the features in the finished article appeals to the eye of the public.
It is governed by the Industrial Designs Act 1996 and Industrial Designs Regulations 1999 in Malaysia.
A registered industrial design gives the owner of the design the exclusive right to make, import, sell or hire out the design which has been applied. Consent of the rightful owner should be obtained first before using the design.
Industrial Designs are based on a “first-to-file” rule basis. Filing of an industrial design should be made at the earliest possible time or before an article is disclosed to the public. Prior disclosure will destroy the novelty of the design. Therefore, care should be exercised to ensure secrecy of the design.
In order to have your designs protected in other countries, applications for registration will have to be filed within six months from the earliest first filing date in any of the Paris Convention member countries.
Industrial Design registration is valid for a period of 5 (five) years from the date of filing and is extendable for a further four consecutive terms of 5 (five) years each. The maximum protection period is 25 (twenty-five) years.