The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has issued a practice direction allowing the registration of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) as designs under the Registered Designs Act (RDA) effective 11 December 2014.
One of the requirements to qualify for registration of design in Singapore is industrial applicability. In order to satisfy this requirement, GUIs must be applied to an article by any industrial process. Hence, when filing an application for registration of design via Form D3, the field provided for the article name must also indicate the article that the GUI is applied to, e.g. “electronic devices display, with Graphical User Interface applied to it”. Moreover, under the part on “statement of novelty” in Form D3, the applicant can select the option “Others” and provide a statement of novelty stating, e.g. “Novelty resides in the design applied to the electronic device as shown in the representation”.
GUIs may either be static (non-animated) or dynamic (animated). For a dynamic GUI, the GUI must be filed in an application consisting of a series of static representations where each representation, in consecutive order (drawing or photograph), shows a freeze-frame of the GUI in action. The parts to be claimed must be in solid lines while the parts not to be claimed must be indicated by broken or stippled lines, or shaded portions. The unclaimed portions must also be indicated in Form D3 in order to avoid any objections from IPOS. For clarity purposes, the applicant may provide a cover letter accompanying the Form D3 by describing the elements in the GUI for each representation.
Similar to filing normal design applications in Singapore, the registration of GUIs should contain a sufficient number of different views to completely disclose the appearance of the claimed design. The representations of the GUI may consist up to a total of 40 different views and at least 2 views should be filed for a single dynamic GUI. IPOS may allow the applicant to submit more than 40 views to be filed, upon filing of a request to do so.
Indeed, the possibility of registration of GUI is another milestone in designs regime in Singapore as it supports and encourages the growth of designs-related industries in the country.