In a move to permit designers and companies applying for the registration of designs to keep them secret from competitors until these designs are brought to market, Applicants can now opt to file a request for deferred publication of their industrial design application. This request may be filed simultaneously with the filing of the design application or at any time prior to publication of the industrial design.

The maximum period of deferment is 30 months from the filing or priority date of the design application. When the application to defer publication is made after the filing or priority date, the permitted period for deferment is the remaining time allowed from the 30 month deferred publication period. Applicants may also request the Office to publish the industrial design application at a specific time, provided that such nominated publication date does not go beyond the allowed deferment period of 30 months.

Industrial design applications which have satisfied all of the formal requirements provided under Rule 1517 of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (namely, that the description and claim and drawings are made in accordance with the Regulations; that the filing fee and other required fees have been fully paid; that the priority documents have been submitted; and that any other additional formal requirements required by the Office have been complied with) are immediately published within 5 days from the date of filing thereof. Accordingly, applicants are advised to file the request for deferred publication at the same time as filing the industrial design application to avoid inadvertent publication of the design application when a subsequent request for deferment is to be filed.