New Zealand design registrations

Coverage, novelty requirements and grace periods

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Design registrations are New Zealand’s equivalent of design patents available elsewhere. They provide monopoly rights in the external appearance of manufactured articles.

Coverage defined without patent claims

New Zealand design registrations cover designs which are the same or not substantially different to that registered. The scope of ‘not substantially different’ depends on the extent to which the registered design departs from the prior art.

Local novelty

Registrability is assessed against information publicly available in New Zealand (e.g. available via the internet).

Protection for non-functional designs

To be registrable, the design must not be purely functional or relate to a method or principle of construction.

No grace period

There is no grace period per se, although the local novelty requirement may allow for valid design registration in the face of pre-priority date publications outside New Zealand.

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Experienced New Zealand patent attorneys to care for your clients’ New Zealand design rights.


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