What is an examination report?
An examination report indicates that we've found problems with your application to certify your registered design.
We've conducted a world-wide search for other designs — which we refer to as 'searching the prior art base' — and have found others identical to, or similar to yours.
Common issues raised in an examination report
This means our search has identified one or more identical designs.
This might be because:
- You've published your design, or
- Someone else has published your design without your permission, or
- Someone else has come up with the same design and has published it prior to your application.
This means our search has identified one or more designs that are substantially similar to yours.
This might be because:
- You've published a design similar to the current one, or
- Someone's published your design without your permission, or
- Someone else has come up with a similar design and has published it prior to your application.
What to do if you receive an examination report1. Read the examination report carefully to understand the issues raised, and how you may overcome them.
2. If you've got questions, contact the person who examined your application. Their name and contact details will be provided on the report.
NOTE: in the case where a company has submitted your application, we can only speak with an authorised person, so be sure the right person makes the call.
3. Submit your response via online services.
Options for responding to an examination report
How you respond will depend on the issues outlined in your examination report.
You may be able to overcome the issues under the grace period.
In Australia there's a 12-month grace period which protects designers who disclose their design before filing for protection. This means if you publish your design within 12 months of applying for a right, you may still be able to achieve protection.
The more information you can provide about your design and the environment in which it's used, will assist us when considering your response.
If you need more information, feel free to call the examiner who sent the report. Alternatively, consult an IP professional for advice on the next steps.
Get professional assistance
What we consider when we look at similar designs
In our examination, we'll:
- Take the viewpoint of an informed user — someone familiar with the product to which the design relates
- Give more weight to similarities between designs, rather than differences
- Consider your design in the context of the other designs we found when searching for prior art. If the prior art base is well developed, small differences between competing designs will be considered distinctive. If the prior art base is poorly developed, differences will need to be larger in order for them to be considered distinctive
- Consider any constraints imposed upon a designer that could limit their ability to innovate. This might include engineering, functional or legal factors.