Industrial Design: An Industrial Design, according to Section 3(1) of the Industrial Designs Act of 19961, involves creating an aesthetically valuable shape, configuration, pattern, or ornamentation in two- or three-dimensional form applied to various articles through industrial processes.

An "Article" can mean:

  1. Any article of manufacture or handicraft, including any part of such article or handicraft if that part is made and sold separately,
  2. A set of articles,
  3. Each article in a set of articles, and
  4. Both sets of articles and each article in that set, as the case requires.

Examples of registerable articles include furniture, toys, mobile phones, electronic devices, household utensils, bottles, cases, carpets, wallpaper, and textiles.

One can be confused between Patent registration and Industrial Design registration, however, the key distinction between Industrial Design and Patent registration is their respective areas of protection. Industrial Design focuses on the visual and aesthetic aspects of a product, shielding its external appearance, while Patent registration safeguards the technical solutions, features, or functions, ensuring that the underlying innovations are protected from unauthorized use.

The Industrial Designs Registry at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, known as the Malaysian IP Office (MyIPO)2, handles the processing of Industrial Design applications in Malaysia.

Key Consideration: To be registrable as an Industrial Design, your design must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Interpretation of Industrial: features of shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament, applied by an industrial process to an article, appealing to the eye, not falling under the exclusions3.
  2. Novelty: It should be New in Malaysia or elsewhere, and should not be known to the public before its registration4.
  3. Public order and Morality: As per section 13 of the Industrial Design Act, of 1996, Designs that are found to be contrary to public order or morality are not eligible for registration5.

Requirement for Filling an Application: To obtain the filing date you need to provide the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia with the following information;

  1. Applicant Information: You need to provide details, about yourself as the applicant.
  2. Design Representations: The application must include one set of visual representations that accurately depict the design. These representations will help in understanding and in Examining your design.
  3. Power of Attorney: You will need to submit a Power of Attorney document which grants authority for filing and representing your design on your behalf.
  4. Article Name and Novelty Statement: You need to Specify the name of the article to which your design is applied and include a statement highlighting its innovative aspects.
  5. Priority Claim Details: If you wish to claim priority based on an application in another country please provide the number, filing date, and country of that application. This is crucial for asserting priority rights.

The registrar of the office may ask for a certified copy of the priority document, and on his request, it should be submitted to the registry within a specified period.

Further, the deadline for filing a design application in Malaysia that claims conventional priority is six months, from the priority date. This implies that if someone has already applied for the registration of Industrial Design in another country and wants to request priority for the design, in Malaysia they need to file their application within six months from the date they initially filed the application to avail of this priority claim.

Registration Process: An application for the registration of an Industrial Design can be made by the owner of an Industrial Design. In brief, an application is initiated by submitting the following documents6to the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO):

  1. A completed request form (ID Form 1) signed by the owner or by their appointed agent must be submitted.
  2. Alongside this form, representations of the design, typically in the form of drawings or photographs showcasing various views of the applied design, should be provided.
  3. Unless the design is for pattern or ornament applied to a textile article, wallpaper, or the like, a Statement of Novelty setting out the features of the design for which the owner claims novelty; and
  4. Additionally, the required official fee(s) must be paid as prescribed.

These four essential elements constitute the standard requirements for the registration of an Industrial Design, ensuring that the owner's rights to their novel design are protected under the law.

The required forms can be downloaded from

The registration procedure should not exceed a maximum period of twelve months, from the filing date and the entire process of registration should be finished within this timeframe.

Registration by Foreigner: If a foreigner wants to apply for Industrial Design in Malaysia then he needs to appoint a registered Malaysian Patent attorney to file a registration on his behalf7.

Examination Process: Upon submission, an Examiner will review the application to ensure it meets all requirements. If there are any gaps or discrepancies you have the option to make necessary changes to meet these requirements.

The Registrar will register the Industrial Design and issue a certificate of registration if the application satisfies the formal conditions outlined in Section 21(1) of the Industrial Designs Act8. Subsequently, the Registrar will publish your registration in the Official Journal. After this process, the registration is considered completed9.

Exclusive rights: Industrial Design registration grants the owner exclusive rights10 to various actions related to articles bearing the registered design. It confers the right to import, sell, offer, make, or expose for sale, any article to which the registration has been granted by the IP office. This provides legal protection to the owner, ensuring that others cannot undertake these actions with a design that is the same or substantially similar to the registered design.

Infringement of these exclusive rights extends beyond the exact replication of the registered design. It also encompasses cases where a fraudulent or obvious imitation of the registered Industrial Design is applied to any article for which the design is registered

With this, the owner of the registered Industrial Design gains authority to initiate legal proceedings against the infringer, who has performed certain acts which qualified or are likely to qualify that act as an infringement of the registered Industrial Design.

Novelty Grace Period: In Malaysia, the novelty grace period11 for Industrial Design applications is set at six months before the filing date. During this six-month period, disclosures or exhibitions of the design that occurred before the filing date will not necessarily disprove the novelty of the design provided that the disclosure was made in specific circumstances like an exhibition of a design at a recognized exhibition or intentional and malicious disclosure of the design without the consent of the owner by a third party, etc.

Duration of Protection: The initial registration remains valid for five years starting from the priority date or filing date of the application12. By paying the government fees you can extend the registration period for four periods of five years each resulting in a total protection duration of twenty-five years. The renewal fee can be paid up to 6 months before the current registration period expires. A late payment may also be made up to six months after the expiry date, subject to a late payment penalty fee.


1. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996§ 3§§ 1, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

2. MyIPO,, (last visited Oct. 31, 2023)

3. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 3, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

4. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 12, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

5. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 13, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

6. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 14 §§ 1, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

7. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 14 §§ 2, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

8. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 21 §§ 1, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

9. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 22, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).


11. IPCOSTER, (last visited Oct. 31, 2023).

12. The Industrial Designs Act of 1996 § 25, No. 552, Laws of Malaysia, 1996 (Malaysia).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.