Registered Design

 Membership of International Conventions:

  • Paris Union (from 31 January 1975)
  • WIPO (from 28 January 1975)

Types of Designs available:

  • Industrial Designs

Novelty Requirements:

An industrial design may be registered, provided that it is original and which is new and industrially or commercially applicable.

An industrial design shall be considered new if it is not included in the prior art. Prior comprises everything that was accessible to the public prior to the date of filing or the date of priority of the design application, through a written or oral description, use or any other means.

Nevertheless, the disclosure of the design, in the six months prior to the filing of the design application, shall not destroy novelty, if such disclosure arises directly or indirectly:

  • From a characteristic abuse toward the applicant or his predecessor in title;
  • From the fact that the applicant or his predecessor in title displayed the design in one or more official exhibitions or exhibitions recognised officially by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If an author or holder undertakes to exploit his design without proceeding to file, said author or holder shallhave six months maximum, starting from the beginning of the exploitation, to rectify the situation. Once this deadline has expired, the filing shall be deemed inadmissible.

The publicity given to an industrial design, prior to its filing, by it being put up for sale, shall not destroy thenovelty of said design.


An industrial design is any combination of lines and/or colours designed to give any industrial or crafts object a special appearance.

An industrial design is any three dimensional form, whether or not associated with colours, as well as any industrial or crafts object which can be used as models for the manufacture of other units and which differ from similar objects or forms either by a separate and recognisable configuration giving it a character of novelty, orby one or more external effects giving it a specific and new appearance.

The following shall not benefit from design protection:

  • Any industrial design that is contrary to public order or morality;
  • Any industrial design whose form was conceived for a technical or industrial purpose, to such an extent thatit is inseparable from the result sought;
  • Any slavish reproduction or imitation of an industrial design.

The same filing can include from one to fifty industrial designs numbered from first to last.

Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed).
  • Two identical copies of a specimen or photographic or graphic representation of the design, optionally accompanied by an explanatory caption in French (required on the day of filing).
  • Certified copy of priority document, if priority claimed, with verified French translation (can be late filed).

Deferred Publication:

It is possible for the Applicant, at the time of filing, to request postponement of registration for a period of notmore than twelve months, starting from the date of filing or that of claiming of priority.

Substantive Examination:


Duration and Renewal:

Design registration is valid for an initial term of five years from the filing date, which is renewable upon payment of the required fees for a further term of five years. A grace period of six months is provided for late payment of the renewal fee.

International Arrangements:

  • Paris Union (from 19 November 1963)
  • WIPO (from 26 September 1970)
  • OAPI (from 5 November 1988)


Currently, the member States of OAPI are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

A single application automatically covers all member states and it is not possible to designate the countries of interest.

For more details see OAPI

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