A design right protects the overall visual appearance of new and distinctive products.​

At IP Australia we receive around 7500 design applications a year.

I want to...

Understanding designs

A design right protects the overall visual appearance of new and distinctive products.

What a design right is


Find out what a design right is, and what it does and doesn't protect.

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The benefits of protecting your design

Learn about the benefits of registering and certifying your design.

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The difference between designs and other IP

Find out about how design rights can work together with other IP rights.

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Applying for a design

Knowing what to expect before you apply can help you avoid costly mistakes.

    Checklist before applying

    Complete this checklist before you apply to make sure a design right is the right option for you.

    Don't go public too soon

    It's hard not to tell others about something you are proud of, but you need to keep your design a secret before you apply.

    The process of applying for a design right

    Australia has a two-step process for securing design right protection: registration and certification.

    Images of your design

    An important part of your application is representing your design with images.

    What to include in your application

    Now you’re ready to apply, find out what you need to include in your application.

    Responding to a formalities notice

    We will make sure your application meets the requirements. Here’s how to overcome any issues raised.

Managing your design

Managing your design is important to make sure you benefit from your IP.

Renewing your design


Once your design has been registered it will last for five years. You can then renew your registration for a further five years.

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Design right disputes


If you have an interest in a design right proceeding, you can dispute a decision.

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International designs


If you plan on marketing your product overseas, you will need to consider registering your design in other countries.

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Design initiatives

IP Australia is undertaking several initiatives to ensure the Australian designs system is fit for purpose and supports the Australian economy now and in the future.

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More about designs...

Canberran Trish Smith sat on a plane waiting for take-off.


Photo of a furniture designer at work
3 December 2020

On 2 December 2020 the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 was introduced into the Senate and is currently before Parliament for consideration. Find out more about how this Bill may benefit you.

Aboriginal Scientist
12 November 2020

As part of IP Australia’s Indigenous Knowledge Work Plan 2020-21, and in preparation for next year’s consultations, we’ve published two new research papers by Terri Janke and Company.