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Examination process

Once submitted, your application to register a design will be examined by the following process.

1. Application filed

Your application must meet legal requirements.

An application may include a priority claim from an overseas application. A New Zealand application must be made within 6 months of the corresponding overseas application.

2. First examination

Within 15 working days of receiving the application, we examine whether it is in order for registration, and issue a report to the applicant.

If your design is registrable at first examination, you'll receive an Examination Complete report.

If your application is not considered a registrable design application at first examination, you will:

  • receive an examination report outlining the reasons we can't register your design, and amendments/documents required to meet the conditions of registration
  • have 12 months (extendable by up to three months) to file required documents and meet the conditions of registrability.

If matters related to registrability can't be resolved in this way, you have the right to request a hearing. If you request a formal hearing, you'll be required to pay a hearing fee at the time you make the request.

An Assistant Commissioner will then consider the case and issue a written decision, including any order as to payment of costs (eg legal costs and disbursements).

3. Respond to examination report

You need to address matters raised in the examination report.

4. Application in order

When your application is in order, you'll receive an examination complete report.

5. Registered design

After you have received an Examination Complete report, and any postponement of registration has expired, then the Registrar issues a Certificate of Registration. The 'Date of Registration' is taken from the first application date, and is earlier than the date the certificate is issued.

The registration can be cancelled or the registration details corrected. The Commissioner or the High Court can cancel or correct a registered design for a number of reasons - for example because the design wasn't new and original, or because the design was granted to a person who wasn't entitled to apply for it.

When a registered design is cancelled the owner loses the right to sole use of that design.

6. Advertisement of registration

The registration is advertised in the official monthly Journal.

7. Renewal

Renewal dates are set at 5 years then 10 years from the date of registration. Renewal must be paid within 6 months of the renewal date or the registration will lapse.