Australian Design Registration

Australian Design Registration

A Registered Design gives to the owner of the design a monopoly right in respect of the appearance of a product embodying that design. The appearance can be defined in terms of visual features, such as shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation.


The design application principally consists of good quality drawings or photographs of the product together with details of the owner of the design and the designer. Registration or publication of the design must be requested within 6 months of the priority date.


Publishing a design does not give you any rights in respect of the design. However, it is often used for strategic purposes to prevent others from obtaining certification for the same design, particularly where the design is no longer considered new.


Once registration is requested, IP Australia conducts a formalities check and if all is in order, the design is registered. The initial period of registration for a design lasts for 5 years from the filing date and it is renewable for a further 5 years upon payment of registration fees.


It should be however noted that design registration does not confer enforceable rights against third parties until a Certificate of Examination has issued on the registered design. Even where full examination takes place, the process tends to be more straightforward compared to other IP rights.


For more information, call us today on (02) 9233 1411 or send us an online enquiry.

Common Questions

What are the advantages of obtaining design registration?

Once examined and certified, a registered design gives the owner exclusive rights to commercially use it, licence or sell it. The rights include the prevention of copy products by people or companies. Further, it helps convey a positive image of a business showing the business’ creativity and increasing the market value of the products.

When should I file a design application?

Timing is very important. Taking into account the novelty and the distinctiveness requirements, it is crucial to file an application before publicly disclosing it, eg. posting the design on your website or blog, which will destroy its novelty/ distinctiveness. In Australia, a grace period of 6 months is available in very limited circumstances such as use of the design at an officially recognised international exhibition or unwanted disclosure by third parties.