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Industrial Designs

What is Industrial Design?

Industrial Design is used to describe the external ornamentation (decorative elements of something that enhances its appearance) or aesthetic feature of an article or product. Such ornamentation or aesthetic feature may take the form of a 3 dimensional feature or a 2 dimensional feature.

Reasons Why Designers Create New Designs:

1.      To Improve the Value of a Product,

2.     For ease of Using a Product,

3.     To Improve the Appearance or Beauty of a Product,

4.     For ease of Manufacturing a Product

Why is Industrial Design Important?

Industrial Design is all about re-designing an existing product or article.

Re-designing of products often results from an individual’s intention to improve the appearance or the frequency of use of something in making it adaptable to the changes in user preference.

Preferences such as making the product durable, portable, sleek, weather friendly, appealing, trendy etc gives motivation for re-designing. The introduction of these new designs improves the quality of life for the users and improves the outlook of the surrounding environment.

Is my Design Eligible for Registration?

Different countries having varying requirements and processes for registration. In Papua New Guinea, to be capable of registration, a design MUST be NEW or ORIGINAL.

This means, it should not be disclosed in tangible form (i.e. physically) to the public any where in the world through publication or use or in any other way. So if the design exists or is in use, it will not be considered NEW or ORIGINAL and therefore it will be refused for registration.

Want to search for a Design registered in Papua New Guinea?

The PNG IP Search is an “Intellectual Property (IP) Search Database” that provides access to Trademarks (Brands), Patents and Designs data on filed and/or registered or granted brands (trademarks) patents and designs (Industrial Designs) in Papua New Guinea. To search, click on the icon below to search for Designs registered in Papua New Guinea

Search for a Design

It is important to understand that not any kind of design can readily be registered as long as it meets the requirement of “NEW” or “ORIGINAL”.

To ensure the success of your design it MUST;

  1. Not distort the basic function of the article or product in which you are re-designing;
  2. Be restricted to the external features or exterior (i.e. outside) of the product or article;
  3. Be creative when viewed completely and should not (predominantly) copy or extract features of existing designs.
  4. Not use genuine and/or direct images or patterns of customary or traditional designs belonging to villages, clans or tribes from any part of the world including Papua New Guinea. Contemporary designs are allowed but the onus is on the designer to ensure it is modern in every aspect of the design. Simple rearrangements and color change of traditional and cultural designs without actually changing the lines, contours, shapes and color of a traditional design will not be considered as contemporary design and thus will not be accepted for registration.
  5. Not use national emblems, motifs or flag designs
  6. Not use designs of existing products to create a new product. While the product is new, the design is not original and does not belong to the creator.
  7. Be able to function or be used as a whole product when applied.
  8. Be clearly represented in the drawings or images submitted meaning if it is a partial re-designing of a whole product, the whole product must be captured clearly and the partially designed portion indicated clearly.

Be creative with your design by changing the SHAPE, SIZE, COLOR, CONTOURS and LINES or a combination thereof to make it your own.

What is the Term of Protection for a Registered Design?

A registered design has a total of 15 years for protection. This 15 years is divided into 3 sets of 5 year terms in which the applicant will be required to renew his/her design before the start of each 5 year term.

For information on fees, see the Industrial Design Fee Schedule

To be eligible to apply for registration, an applicant must be 18 years old or above. In terms of a company, it must be registered with Investment Promotion Authority to operate business within Papua New Guinea.

For applicants below the age of 18 years old, they can apply through a legal representation. A legal representative can consist of an adult person over the age of 18 years. And that representative could be a legal guardian(s) or a biological parent(s) or biological sibling who will be expected to apply on the child’s behalf. The young designer’s details can be listed under the section requiring name and contact details of the designer (or creator).

Applying for Registration of your Design

PDF Copy: Applying for Industrial Design Registration Guide

  1. Fill in Form 5 and file with representation (technical) drawings or pictures of the product
  2. Complete the Power of Attorney form if a legal representative is acting on your behalf.
  3. Complete the  Statement Justifying the Applicant’s Right form if you are not the designer or creator of that design.
  4. Pay the lodgement fee of PGK300.00 by bank cheque made out to Investment Promotion Authority or through a direct bank deposit into Investment Promotion Authority’s account(s) with BSP or ANZ or Westpac.


The following forms are provided for the applicant’s convenience.

  1. Form 2: Notice of Opposition
  2. Form 7: Change of Ownership

Why is it Important to Conduct a Design Search?

An intending applicant is encouraged to conduct a search on the design in which he/she intends to seek protection for, to avoid being refused for registration and possible infringement from another owner of a similar or same design.

Please refer to the Industrial Design Search Guide For Applicants for more information.