Legal Framework

The New Industrial Designs System

The Patents and Designs Act No. 1 of 2020, which came into effect came into effect on February 11, 2022, repealed the Designs Act of 1937 and has brought Jamaica’s Design Law into compliance with international standards.

The Designs Act of 1937 continues to govern all applications filed and granted under that law.  The Designs Rules of 1937 will continue to apply even to new design applications under the New Law, insofar as they are consistent with the New Law.

The new law implements the Paris Convention and recognizes priority filings where the Jamaican design application is filed within 6 months of the first filing date. The new law also implements the The international registration will have the same effect in Jamaica as a regularly filed national application for the grant of protection of the design.

Under the new law a design must be universally novel (not just novel to Jamaica as under the old law), have Individual Character and must not be contrary to public order or morality.

Designs which involve the use of a representation of the Coat of Arms of Jamaica, national flag of Jamaica, armorial bearings, official signs or hallmarks, or other national symbol or emblems and the like, are now excluded from protection unless the govenrment grants consent.

Designs which use the country name of Jamaica or abbreviations or homonyms thereof, the map of Jamaica or national colours of Jamaica, in a misleading manner. These exclusions also apply to emblems, colours, maps and names of other countries.

Designs which make use of the traditional knowledge or traditional cultural expressions of indigenous or local communities, without  authorization from the relevant community or otherwise misleading uses are also excluded. Also excluded are designs which use the image or likeness of an individual, without consent and designs which use third party copyright or trademarks (registered or unregistered) without consent.

The registration of a design gives the owner the exclusive right to exploit the design and to prevent other persons from

  • reproducing the design in manufacturing of a product;
  • importing, offering for sale, or exposing for sale, or selling a product in or by which the design is reproduced; and
  • stocking any product described in paragraph (a) or (b) for the purpose of

during the term of the registration.

Although there is no substantive change in the maximum duration of protection for designs it should be noted that under the old law, the protection is afforded for a period of fifteen (15) years from the date of registration, without extension or renewal whereas under the new law designs are protected for 5 years and renewable for 2 consecutive periods of 5 years.

Industrial Designs are now protected at the standard outlined by the WTO TRIPS Agreement, the Paris Convention, The Haque Agreement 1999 Act and 1960 Act and the Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs (1968). 

Every Applicant for a Design must provide an address for service within Jamaica and the address must be stated in the application.

The Government Designs Office

The Designs Law is administered by the Trade Marks and Designs Directorate of Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO).

For more information visit JIPO’s official website

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