Designs examined: the ins and outs of designs

Published: 
11 May 2015

Design registration protects designs which have an industrial or commercial use. A registered design gives you exclusive rights to commercially use, licence or sell it.

Let’s get started…

So what is a design?

A design refers to the visual features which give a product a unique appearance. These features include shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation.

Why would I need a design?

If the look of your product gives your business a competitive edge you should consider registering the design. Registering and protecting your design prevents others from trading on your hard work and allows you to fully capture a return on your investment.

Not only can you prevent others from using your design but you can also sell or licence it to others – letting someone else take the expense of the marketing and production.

How much does it cost?

It will cost you $250 per design if you apply electronically through eServices or $350 per design if you apply through the mail. In order to be fully certified (and therefore enforceable) you will need to get your design examined for an additional $420.

A registration renewal will cost $320 for five years if paid electronically or $370 if paid by mail.

How long does it take?

We will complete the formalities check within two months of receiving your application. Assuming there are no complications with the formalities check we will register your design within a further 20 working days.

How do I register?

Before you apply you should make sure you meet the requirements. Mainly: is your design new and is itdistinctive?

New means that it has not been disclosed anywhere in the world or used in Australia before the filing date of your application AND is not identical to any other design previously disclosed anywhere in the world, nor any design previously used in Australia at the time of filing.  

Distinctive means it must not be substantially similar in overall impression to any design previously published anywhere in the world (including on the internet), nor any design previously used in Australia.

In order to help you work this out we suggest you search for any possible similar designs

You can then apply for a design online.

More information