Zambia has passed into law the new Industrial Design Act no 22 of 2016 repealing the Registered Designs Act of 1958. The new Design Act came into force on 6 June 2016. Some of the new provisions contained in the new Act are as follows:
- Worldwide novelty requirements;
- Grace period and exceptions in respect of disclosure of the design in order to comply with novelty requirements;
- Restoration of rights lost due to non-payment of maintenance fees;
- Amendment of a design application and
- Opposition of design registration by 3rd party including the state.
The new Act also introduced changes in respect of the term of a registered design. The 1958 Act provided for a registration term of five years extentable upon payment of renewal fees for two further five year terms. According to the new Act, the term of registration is five years from the filing date renewable upon payment of renewal fees for a further period of five years. Furthermore, while the 1958 Act made provision for foreign filing licence in respect of new foreign design applications by a person ordinarily resident or domiciled in Zambia, the 2016 Act is silent in this regard.
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