If the industrial design has already been disclosed to the public (for example, by an advertisement published on the company’s website), it may no longer be considered as “new” or “original” and may become part of the public domain. Some countries, however, allow for a “grace period” to file after disclosure of the industrial design. Such a period provides a safeguard for applicants who have disclosed their industrial design before filing an application. Such a “grace period” is usually 6 or 12 months.
Timing is very important. Taking into account the novelty and/or originality requirement for industrial designs in most legislation, it is in general crucial to file an application for registration or for the grant of a patent before publicly disclosing it, so as to avoid destroying its novelty/originality.