Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation


   3.   Administration of Act

   4.   Registrar and other staff

   5.   Seal

   6.   Register of designs


   7.   Designs registrable under Act

   8.   Proprietorship of designs

   9.   Proceedings for registration

   10.   Registration of same design in respect of other articles, etc

   11.   Provisions for secrecy of certain designs

   12.   Provisions as to confidential disclosure, etc

   13.   Convention arrangements

   13A.   ARIPO industrial designs


   14.   Right given by registration

   15.   Period of copyright

   16.   Exemption of innocent infringer from liability for damages

   17.   Compulsory licence in respect of registered design


   18.   Use of registered designs for services of the State

   19.   Rights of third parties in respect of State use

   20.   Special provisions as to State use during emergency

   21.   Reference of disputes as to State use


   22.   Registration of assignments, etc

   23.   Power of Registrar to authorise corrections

   24.   Rectification of register

   25.   Cancellation of registration


   26.   Evidence of certain entries and documents

   27.   Inspection of registered designs

   28.   Information as to existence of copyright

   29.   Certificate of registration

   30.   Copies of certificates of registration

   31.   Exercise of discretionary powers of Registrar

   32.   Proceedings before Registrar

   33.   Power of Registrar to award costs

   34.   Power of Registrar to fix time and place of sitting, etc


   35.   High Court to hear appeals

   36.   Repealed

   37.   Repealed

   38.   Rules of court

   39.   Time for appeals

   40.   References to High Court by Registrar

   41.   Certification of validity

   42.   Infringement action to be heard in High Court

   43.   Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings

   44.   Security for costs and taxation of costs

   45.   Costs of Registrar

   46.   Appeals to Supreme Court


   47.   Falsification of entries in register

   48.   Penalty for falsely representing a design as registered

   49.   Deceiving or influencing the Registrar or an officer

   50.   Witness giving false evidence

   51.   Penalties


   52.   Recognition of agents

   53.   Lodging and authentication of documents

   54.   Provisions as to fees

   55.   Oaths and affirmations

   56.   Journal

   57.   Savings

   58.   Regulations


   59.   Application of Act and transitional provisions

   60.   Repealed


to make provision relating to the registration of designs and for other purposes incidental thereto.

[1st December, 1958]

Act 12 of 1958,

Act 16 of 1980,

Act 25 of 1987,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 8 of 2010,

GN 187 of 1964,

GN 497 of 1964,

SI 175 of 1965.


1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Registered Designs Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Agency” means the Patents and Companies Registration Agency established under section 3 of the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Act, 2010;

[Ins by s 2(a) of Act 8 of 2010.]

“article” means any article of manufacture and includes any part of an article if that part is made and sold separately;

“artistic work” means a work of any of the following descriptions, that is to say—

   (a)   the following, irrespective of artistic quality, namely, paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and photographs;

   (b)   works of architecture, being either buildings or models for buildings;

   (c)   works of artistic craftsmanship, not falling within paragraph (a) or (b);

“assignee” means—

   (a)   the person who has derived his title to the design for Zambia directly or indirectly from the proprietor thereof or from the latter’s assignee; or

   (b)   the legal representative of such person;

“Convention” means the Union Convention of Paris, dated the 20th March, 1883, for the Protection ofIndustrial Property, revised at Brussels on the 14th December, 1900, at Washington on the 2nd June,1911, at The Hague on the 6th November, 1925, and at London on the 2nd June, 1934, and any revision thereof to which the 1former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland or the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia may have acceded or to which the 2Republic may accede in terms of section 7 of the Patents Act;

“convention country” means a country (including any colony, protectorate or territory subject to the authority or under the suzerainty of that country, or any territory over which a mandate or trusteeship is exercised) which has been declared to be a convention country in terms of the Patents Act;

“copyright,” in relation to a registered design, has the meaning assigned to it by sub-section (1) of section 14;

“corresponding design,” in relation to an artistic work, means a design which, when applied to an article, results in a reproduction of that work;

“design” means features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process or means, being features which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye, but does not include a method or principle of construction or features of shape or configuration which are dictated solely by the function which the article to be made in that shape or configuration has to perform;

[“Designs Office” rep by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2010.]

“legal practitioner” means a person admitted or otherwise entitled to practise as a barrister and solicitor in terms of the Legal Practitioners Act;

“legal representative” means—

   (a)   the liquidator or receiver of a company;

   (b)   the representative recognised by law of any person who has died, become bankrupt, assigned his estate, is an infant or a minor, or of unsound mind, or is otherwise under a disability;

“patent journal” means the journal for which provision is made in section 95 of the Patents Act;

“proprietor” has the meaning assigned to it by section 8;

“register” means the register of designs kept under the provisions of this Act;

“registered proprietor” means the person or persons for the time being entered in the register as the proprietor of the design;

“Registrar”means the person appointed as Registrar under section 14 of the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Act, 2010;

[Subs by s 2(c) of Act 8 of 2010.]

“set of articles” means a number of articles of the same general character ordinarily on sale or intended to be used together, to each of which the same design, or the same design with modifications or variations not sufficient to alter the character or substantially to affect the identity thereof, is applied;

   (2) Any reference in this Act to an article in respect of which a design is registered shall, in the case of a design registered in respect of a set of articles, be construed as a reference to any article of that set.

   (3) Any question arising under this Act whether a number of articles constitutes a set of articles shall be determined by the Registrar; and notwithstanding anything in this Act any determination of the Registrar under this sub-section shall be final.

[S 2 am by GN 187 of 1964; SI 175 of 1965; Act 16 of 1980.]


3.   Administration of Act

This Act shall be administered by the Agency.

[S 3 subs by s 3 of Act 8 of 2010.]

4.   Registrar and other staff

   (1) The Registrar shall exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to the Registrar by this Act and the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Act, 2010.

   (2) The Agency may appoint, on such terms and conditionsas it may determine, examiners and such other staff as it considers necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act.

[S 4 subs by s 4 of Act 8 of 2010.]

5.   Seal

   (1) The seal of the Agency kept in terms of the Patents and Companies Registration Agency Act, 2010, shall be used for the purposes of this Act and the impression thereof made for such purposes shall be judicially noticed.

   (2) On the commencement of this Act, any impression of a seal made for the purposes of this Act before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be an impression of the seal of the Agency.

[S 5 subs by s 5 of Act 8 of 2010.]

6.   Register of designs

   (1) There shall be kept at the Agency for the purposes of this Act a register of designs wherein shall be entered all registered designs with the names and addresses of their proprietors, notifications of assignments and transmissions, and such other matters relating to registered designs as may be prescribed or as the Registrar may think fit.

[S 6(1) am by s 8 of Act 8 of 2010.]

   (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the register of designs shall, at all convenient times, be open to inspection by the public, and certified copies, sealed with the seal of the Agency, of any entry in the register shall be given to any person requiring them on payment of the prescribed fee.

[S 6(2) am by s 8 of Act 8 of 2010.]

   (3) The register of designs shall be prima facie evidence of any matters required or authorised by or under this Act to be entered therein.

   (4) No notice of any trust, whether expressed, implied or constructive, shall be entered in the register, and the Registrar shall not be affected by any such notice.


7.   Designs registrable under Act

   (1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, a design may, upon application made by the person claiming to be the proprietor, his assignee or legal representative, be registered under this Act in respect of any article or set of articles specified in the application.

   (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a design shall not be registered thereunder unless it is new or original and in particular shall not be so registered in respect of any article if it is the same as a design which before the date of the application for registration appears on the register or has been published in the former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland or, after the 1st January, 1964, the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia or the Republic in respect of the same or any other article or differs from such a design only in immaterial details or in features which are variants commonly used in trade.

   (3) Regulations made by the Minister under this Act may provide for excluding from registration thereunder designs for such articles, being articles which are primarily literary or artistic in character, as the Minister thinks fit.

[S 7 am by GN 187 of 1964; SI 175 of 1965.]

8.   Proprietorship of designs

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the author of a design shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the proprietor of the design:

Provided that where the design is executed by the author for another person for valuable consideration, that other person shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the proprietor.

   (2) Where a design, or the right to apply a design to any article, becomes vested, whether by assignment, transmission or operation of law, in any person other than the original proprietor, either alone or jointly with the original proprietor, that other person, or, as the case may be, the original proprietor and that other person, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the proprietor of the design or as the proprietor of the design in relation to that article.

9.   Proceedings for registration

   (1) An application for the registration of a design shall be made in the prescribed form and shall be lodged at the Agency in the prescribed manner.

   (2) For the purpose of deciding whether a design is new or original, the Registrar may make such searches, if any, as he thinks fit.

   (3) The Registrar may refuse any application for the registration of a design or may register the design in pursuance of the application subject to such modifications, if any, as he thinks fit.

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