Intellectual Property: Design

A design registration is a unique asset that protects the way a product looks. A design registration protects the overall appearance of a product and gives the owner enforceable rights to their design.

1| What is a Registered Design?

A design registration is an intellectual property right that provides:

  • Protection for the visual appearance of a product including the shape, configuration, pattern and/or ornamentation of a product; and
  • Exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell a design.

A design registration protects a design for five years from the filing date of the application. It can be renewed for a further five years (for a maximum term of ten years). If the design registration is not renewed at the five-year mark, the design will cease and be free for anyone to use.

2| How do I Protect my Design?

In order to protect your design in Australia, an application must be filed with the local government body, IP Australia. This application is typically prepared by a patent attorney using illustrations of your design.


3| Examination of Design Registrations

Once filed, a design undergoes a formalities examination soon after filing to ensure that the application is suitable for registration. Once the design passes formalities examination, it is registered and can be advertised as such.

A design registration can also undergo substantive examination which is an optional process that determines whether a design is new and distinctive. If successful, the design will be certified. Only once a design registration is certified is it enforceable against infringers.


4| What Should I Do if Someone Is Using My Design?

If you are concerned someone is using your registered design without your permission, you can take action. We recommend speaking to the team at Chamberlains who will guide you with enforcing your design registration.


Interested in learning more about Intellectual Property?

Click our articles below to find out more:

How to file a patent in Australia

Stop telling everyone you own my patents!

Filing a design overseas