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Industrial Design Law

1. A design which is new may, upon application by the person claiming to be the owner, be registered in respect of any article or set of articles specified in the application.

2. A design for which an application for registration is made shall not be regarded as new if it is the same as a design that has been registered in pursuance of a prior application, whether or not that design has been registered in respect of the same article for which the application is made or in respect of any other article; or a design that has been published in Hong Kong or elsewhere before the filing date of the application, whether or not that design has been published in respect of the same article for which the application is made or in respect of any other article, or if it differs from such a design only in immaterial details or in features which are variants commonly used in the trade.

3. A design is not registrable in respect of an article if the appearance of the article is not material, that is, if aesthetic considerations are not normally taken into account to a material extent by persons acquiring or using articles of that description, and would not be so taken into account if the design were to be applied to the article.

4. An application for registration of a design shall be filed with the Registrar in the prescribed manner. The application shall include : (a) a request for registration of the design; (b) a representation of the design suitable for reproduction; (c) the name and address of the applicant; (d) where the applicant is not the designer, a statement explaining the applicant's rights in relation to the design;(e) an address in Hong Kong for service of documents. Two or more designs may be the subject of the same application for registration if the designs relate to the same prescribed class of articles or to the same set of articles.

5. If an application for registration of a design has been accorded a filing date and has not been withdrawn, the Registrar shall examine the application to determine whether it satisfies the formal requirements. Where the Registrar determines that there are deficiencies as regards the formal requirements, he shall notify the applicant and give him an opportunity to correct the deficiencies within the prescribed period. If any deficiencies as regards the formal requirements are not corrected within the prescribed period, the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.

6. If on an examination by the Registrar an application for registration of a design is found to have satisfied the formal requirements, then as soon as practicable after such examination, the Registrar shall- (a) register the design by entering the prescribed particulars in the Register; (b) enter the name of the applicant, or the successor in title to the application, in the Register as the owner of the design; (c) issue a certificate of registration to the person who is the registered owner of the design at the time the design is registered; and (d) advertise the fact of such registration and publish a representation of the design by notice in the official journal.

7. The initial period of registration of a design is 5 years beginning on the filing date of the application for registration. The period of registration of a design may be extended for additional periods of 5 years each but the total period of registration may not exceed 25 years beginning on the filing date of the application for registration. If the owner of a registered design desires to renew the period of registration for a further period of 5 years, the prescribed renewal fee shall be paid before the end of the current period of registration but not earlier than 3 months immediately preceding the end of the current period. If the renewal fee is not paid, the registration of the design shall cease to have effect at the end of the current period of registration.

8. The registration of a design under this Ordinance gives to the registered owner the exclusive right: (a) to make in Hong Kong or import into Hong Kong for sale or hire; or for use for the purpose of trade or business; or to sell, hire, or offer or expose for sale or hire in Hong Kong, any article in respect of which the design is registered and to which that design or a design not substantially different from it has been applied.

9. The right in a registered design is infringed by any person who, without the consent of the registered owner and while the registration is in force does anything which is the exclusive right of the registered owner; makes anything for enabling any article to be made in Hong Kong or elsewhere; does anything in relation to a kit that would constitute an infringement of the design if it had been done in relation to the assembled article..

10. A registered design is personal property and any registered design, and any right in or under it, may be transferred, created or granted. Any registered design, and any right in or under it, may be assigned or mortgaged. A registered design shall vest by operation of law in the same way as any other personal property and may be vested by an assent of personal representatives.

11. A licence may be granted under any registered design for the use of the design and, to the extent that the licence so provides, a sub-licence may be granted under any such licence and any such licence or sub-licence may be assigned or mortgaged; and any such licence or sub-licence shall vest by operation of law in the same way as any other personal property and may be vested by an assent of personal representatives.

12. Any of the following transactions, that is to say, any assignment or mortgage of a registered design or any right in or under it; or any assent relating to a registered design or any right in or under it, shall be void unless it is in writing and is signed by or on behalf of the assignor, mortgagor or party granting such assent as the case may be (or, in the case of an assent or other transaction by a personal representative, by or on behalf of the personal representative) or, in the case of a body corporate, is so signed or is under the seal of that body.

13. An assignment of a registered design or a share in it, and an exclusive licence granted under any registered design, may confer on the assignee or licensee the right of the assignor or licensor to bring proceedings.

14. An Infringement of the right in a registered design is actionable by the registered owner and in any action in respect of such an infringement all such relief, by way of damages, injunction, account of profits or otherwise shall be available to the plaintiff as is available in proceedings in respect of the infringement of other proprietary rights.

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