Time and costs

An IP Australia staff member reading documents in an office

If you decide to register a design with the idea of taking it to market, first make sure you fully understand the process involved and what it will cost you in time and money.

Understanding the time and costs involved

Registering a design is not just a matter of attaching a picture of the design to an appropriate form and lodging an application.

It is often a lengthy, complex and costly process, especially if you're planning on commercialising your design.

A commercial design development and registration process can typically involve as many as five professional advisers or consultants.

They could include such specialists as:

  • an industrial designer
  • a lawyer
  • a marketing consultant
  • a patent attorney
  • an accountant.

Advice from all five may be required to successfully expedite a design application, registration and commercialisation.

These advisers make specific and quite separate contributions to the design development and business establishment process.

There are also fees directly related to design applications, registrations and maintenance.


An application fee per design is payable when filing your design application. If you have not paid for all the designs in the application at filing, you will be issued with an invitation to pay (ITP). Your application will be subject to a formalities check. If multiple designs are found in your application during the formalities check, you will be sent an ITP for all further designs. Processing an application can take up to three months (including the formalities check).


As the owner of a registered design you can request to have your design examined. This can result in your registered design being certified and allows you to enforce your rights as the design owner. You will need to pay a fee when you request examination.

A third party can request an examination of your registered design. The third party may present information relating to the newness or distinctiveness of your design. The third party pays half the cost of the examination and because you may benefit from the examination, you (as the design owner) pay the other half.

Our customer service charter states that examination will take place within four months of our receipt of a request. If, as a result of examination, we issue you an adverse report, you will generally have six months to overcome any grounds for revocation set out in the letter.

Length of protection

Design registration lasts for five years from the date your design was first filed with IP Australia. Your registration can be renewed for a further five years for a maximum of ten years. The registration lapses unless it is renewed. 

Last Updated: 23/11/2013

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Master of Business Administration

Assistant Director International Policy & Cooperation since 2005
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