If you want to be able to legally enforce your design you will need to have it examined and certified. Only registered designs can be examined.
The examination process
Once your design is registered it can be examined. The examination will test whether your design is new and distinctive. It will result in either:
- a certified design right (a certificate confirming your rights are enforceable), or
- an adverse report that you can respond to.
If you receive an adverse report, it will give you the reasons why your registration does not currently meet the requirements of the Designs Act 2003. You may then be able to amend the registration to overcome the issues raised or present your arguments in writing.
If your design registration is found not to be valid, the Registrar may revoke it. If you do not overcome all issues in the allowed time, your design registration may cease.
Examination requests from a third party
Someone else (such as a competitor) can also ask for your registered design to be examined. They might do this if they want to test the validity of the design. If this happens, that person would pay half the examination fee, and you would need to pay the balance. This is because if your design is certified you stand to benefit from the action. If you do not pay the balance, your design registration will cease.
A third party is also able to provide evidence to be considered in the examination process of your design.