Under the Patents and Designs Act, 2000, a design is defined as the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornament.

A design shall be protected by a design right to the extent that it is new and has individual character.


Designs are classified according to the Locarno Classification.

Priority Claims

An applicant who has applied for protection for his design in a World Trade Organisation member country or a country which is a party to the Paris Convention, may claim priority by filing his application in Malta in respect of the same design within 6 months from the date of filing of the first application in the country concerned.

Documentation Required

  1. the name, surname and address of the applicant;
  2. drawings which would enable a proper and clear understanding of the particular design. The applicant must provide a number of tracings and drawings sufficient to enable the Comptroller of Industrial Property to identify the new design.
  3. a statement providing details of the novelty of the design together with a description of the design and its characteristics.
  4. a copy of the application and drawings filed abroad, duly certified, whenever priority is claimed.
  5. our standard power of attorney with the signatures thereon attested by a notary or legalised with the Apostille on the reverse side in terms of the Hague Convention or duly legalised by a Diplomatic or Consular Representative of Malta;


A registered design or an application for the registration of a design may be assigned either together with the goodwill of a business or independently of it. An assignment of a registered design is not effective unless made in writing.

Furthermore, an assignment of a registered design may be partial and limited so as to apply in relation to the use of the design in a particular manner or a particular locality.


A licence to use a registered design may be general or limited. A limited licence may, in particular, apply in relation to the use of the design in a particular manner or a particular locality. A licence may be exclusive or non-exclusive.

Term of Protection

Upon registration, a design shall be protected by a design right for a period of 5 years from the date of filing of the application, which term may be renewed for a further period or periods of five years each, up to a total term of 25 years from the date of filing.

A design protected by a design right registered under the Patents and Designs Act, 2000 shall also be eligible for protection under the Copyright Act, 2000 as from the date on which the design was created or fixed in any form.

The services provided by the firm in this field include:

  • Registration, administration and litigation in relation to trademarks, patents, designs and other intellectual property rights.
  • Registration and administration of European Community Trademarks and Community Designs as well as assistance in the protection of intellectual property rights internationally, both within and outside of Europe.
  • Advice and assistance including litigation in relation to copyright.
  • Advice and assistance in relation to the assignment of intellectual property rights.

Further information may be obtained from one of our leading experts by contacting us below:

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