Legal Basis

Local

What are the local enactments governing the protection of industrial designs in Ghana?

  • Industrial Designs Act, 2003 (Act 660), entry into force (Gazette Notification) December 31, 2003. (Implementing Regulations are yet to be promulgated).

International

What are the main international treaties signed by the Republic of Ghana in respect of industrial designs?

  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since June 12, 1976.
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act of July 14, 1967, since September 28, 1976.
  • WTO's TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
  • ARIPO, Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs, since April 25, 1984.
  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since September 16, 2008.

Definition

What is an industrial design?

An industrial design is a composition of lines or colours, any three‐dimensional form or any material, whether or not associated with lines or colours. A textile design is an industrial design where the composition, form or material gives a special appearance to a product of industry or handicraft and can serve as a pattern for a product of industry or handicraft.

Filing and Registration

Filing Procedure

Who can file for industrial design applications in Ghana?

Any individual or legal entity claiming to be the creator of an industrial design may apply for registration in Ghana. Where two or more persons claim the industrial design, the right to the industrial design belongs to them jointly. Applicants not resident or not having their principal place of business in Ghana must be represented by a legal practitioner resident and practicing in Ghana. 

What industrial designs are registrable in Ghana?

An industrial design is registrable if it is new. An industrial design is new or original if it significantly differs from known designs or combinations of known design features.

What industrial designs are not registrable in Ghana?

An industrial design which is contrary to public order or public morality is not registrable. A twelve-month grace period for non-prejudicial disclosures is provided for.

Do agents filing for registration of an industrial design on behalf of the owner require power of attorney? If so, is notarization or legalization required?

Agents need a signed power of attorney from the creator of the industrial design or Principal. No notarization or legalization is required.

What information and documentation must be submitted in an industrial design registration application?

  • Applicant’s full name, address and nationality;
  • The full name and address of authorised attorney;
  • The full name and address of an addressee for documents to be served (usually same as the address of the attorney);
  • Drawings, photographs or other adequate graphic representations of the industrial design;
  • An indication of the article, which constitutes the design, or in relation to which the design is to be used. Where the applicant is not the creator, the application shall contain a statement justifying the applicant’s right to the registration of the industrial design;
  • a specimen of the articles embodying the industrial design may be included, where the industrial design is two‐ dimensional;
  • a declaration claiming priority of one or more earlier national or regional applications or international deposits filed by the applicant or applicant's predecessor‐in‐title.

What documents are required for registration?

  • Power of attorney;
  • A duly completed industrial design application form.

Is electronic filing available?

Electronic filing is available if filed directly at ARIPO and Ghana is designated.

What are the application fees?

Fees are same as ARIPO schedule of fees for industrial designs.

Registration and Cancellation of Registration

When does industrial design registration formally come into effect?

The industrial design registration formally comes into effect when the Registrar registers the design after all requirements in law are met, publishes a reference to the registration and issues the applicant with a certificate of registration of the industrial design.

Can registration be cancelled?

Yes. Any interested person may apply to the Court to cancel the registration of an industrial design.  The Court shall cancel the registration of an industrial design if the person requesting the cancellation proves that a requirement for registration under the law has not been complied with or if the registered owner is not the creator or successor in title.

Priority

How are priority rights claimed?

Where two or more persons have created the same industrial design independently of each other, the person whose application has the earliest filing date or, if priority is claimed, the earliest validly claimed priority date, shall have the right to register the industrial design, as long as the application is not withdrawn, abandoned or rejected.

Examination and Protection

Examination

What factors does the Registry consider in its examination of the application?

The Registry examines both the formal and substantive requirements.

What are the rules governing opposition of industrial design applications?

Oppositions against an industrial design application may be filed by any interested party on the ground that one or more of the requirements for industrial design have not been fulfilled or that the applicant does not have a right to the registration of the industrial design. Opposition to registration shall be by notice to the registrar.

Protection

What is the term of protection for an industrial design?

The term of protection for an industrial design in Ghana is five (5) years from the filing date.

Are industrial designs renewable in Ghana?

The registration of an industrial design is renewable for two consecutive periods of five years each.  A grace period of six months is allowed for the late payment of the renewal fee upon payment of the prescribed surcharge.

What are the rights conferred by registration?

The registered owner has the right to exploit the industrial design and may institute court action against any person who infringes a registered industrial design by using it without the consent of the registered owner. 

What penalties can be sanctioned against an infringer?

Both civil and criminal penalties are available. With respect to civil remedies, the Court may grant an injunction to prevent any infringement or an imminent infringement, award damages and grant any other remedy as the Court considers appropriate in the circumstances. An infringer may be criminally liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both.

Licenses

What is the procedure for licensing a registered industrial design?

A copy of each licence contract concerning a registered industrial design or an application for the registration of an industrial design shall be submitted to the Registrar who shall keep its contents confidential but shall record it and publish a reference of the licence contract. A licence contract is of no legal effect against third parties until it has been recorded by the Registrar.

Rectification

Can industrial design applications be rectified?

Rectification or correction of Register may be made upon request to the Registrar and the Registrar may correct errors in any document filed or any entry made.