How to search existing designs

Before applying for a design right, you should search for any publicly shared designs to check if there are any that are similar to yours.

Why search before applying?

Your design must be 'new' and 'distinctive'. By completing a search, you can compare your design to others and check if your own design has already been published.

You should search on the:

  • internet, including social media
  • IP search databases, Australian and international.

As part of the examination process, we'll also perform extensive searches. If we find your design or a design too similar to yours, we'll let you know.

Check the IP search databases

IP search databases are online resources you can use to find details about IP rights filed by others. 

The Australian Design Search database contains details for design applications and registration. It offers multiple ways of searching for a design – by numbers, owner's name, product name, classification, images or advanced search.

Australian Design Search

We'll also check other IP databases for images that are similar to your design. Any images published on these databases could be relevant, even if they're not registered as a design right.

Australian Trade Mark Search  Australian Patent Search

International IP search databases

Global Design Database  European Union IP Office 

Need help?

Conducting your own research will help you understand what designs already exist.

But, searching and interpreting prior designs is a specialised skill and can be complex. So, you may want to reach out to an IP expert to help you.

Engage an IP professional