Designs and Models

– Intellectual Property Act, 2011.

Notes: all industrial designs registered under the repealed Industrial Designs Act of December 19, 1972 remain in force and are taken to have been registered under the corresponding provisions of the new Intellectual Property Act, 2011.

Registered industrial designs remain in force for the unexpired portion of the period of protection provided under the Industrial Designs Act, 1972 and upon renewal shall be subject to the provisions of the new Act.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since October 11, 1997.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), party since September 13, 1999.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since May 10, 2012.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since September 21, 2013.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since January 2, 2020.


Applicant: the creator of the design or his assignee or where the design was created under a commission or an employment contract, the design right belongs to the person having commissioned the design or the employer, unless a contractual provision says otherwise.

Applicants not living in the country: must be represented by a legal practitioner resident and practicing in Samoa. Unregistered design rights are available for designs of creators of designs who are nationals or have their permanent place of residence in Samoa, and for designs first created in Samoa, irrespective of the nationality or residence of the creator.

Not registrable: a method or principle of construction or features of shape or configuration of an article which are dictated solely by the function which the article has to perform or are dependant on the appearance of another article of which the article is intended by the designer to form an integral part, designs contrary to public order or morality or based on matai titles, names of persons or Samoan villages.

Novelty: a design must not have been disclosed to the public anywhere in the world by publication in tangible form, or in Samoa by description in writing or by use or in any other way.

Novelty grace period: no provision.

Classification: international as per Locarno Agreement (9th Edition).

Priority: a Convention application may be filed within twelve months of the date of the first application in a Convention country.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. The applicant’s name, address and nationality and details of any agents used by the applicant;
2. Each creator’s name;
3. A request for registration of the design;
4. Drawings, photographs or other adequate graphic representations of the article embodying the design;
5. A statement of the kind of products for which the design is to be used with reference to the International Classification;
6. A written authorization of agent;
7. Prescribed fee.

Examination Procedure

Amendment of application: the Registrar may permit the amendment of an application, but will only allow amendments to formalities or responses to entitlement.

Examination: as to formalities and entitlement only.

Acceptance of application: if the Registrar is satisfied that the formalities are met, the Registrar must register the design and issue a certificate of registration.


Publication: occurs upon registration.

Duration: designs are registered for an initial period of five years from the filing date.

Renewal: possible for two further periods of five years. Grace period: the renewal fees may be paid up to six months after the due date with payment of additional fees.

Marking: is not compulsory but marking with the number and the term “Rd” or “Regd.” is desirable to secure damages or an account of profits in infringement actions.

Assignments and licenses: must be recorded with the Registrar.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Right of prior user: prior public use will invalidate a design.

Opposition: no provision.

Invalidation of design: an interested person may request the Supreme Court to invalidate the registration of a registered design.

Infringement: proceedings cannot commence until registration. If a registered design is infringed, action may be taken to the Supreme Court.

Remedies: an injunction, damages and any other remedy provided for in the general law.