File your application

You can file your application with online services. Please be aware of the fees and timeframes involved.

Key points to consider when applying

  • After your design is filed, only very limited changes are allowed.
  • Keep a copy of all the documents (including the drawings) you file.
  • Give each design a reference number or identifier, so you know which one it is.
  • If your design gets registered, the protection given by registration takes effect from the priority date, which is usually the filing date.
  • Your application will lapse if we haven't received a request to register or publish your design from you within six months from your priority date.
  • You can only claim that the design is registered once you have received a certificate of registration. Don't assume that your design is registered when the application is filed.
  • A design is not legally enforceable until it has been registered, examined and certified.

After you lodge your application

After you file your application we will advise you of your priority date and we will do a formalities check.

The formalities check will ensure that we have enough information from you to be able to register your design if that is what you ask us to do.

Requesting registration

If your application passes the formalities check, the design will be registered, advertised in the Australian Official Journal of Designs, and made available for searching in the Australian Designs Data Searching (ADDS) database.  If you haven't asked for registration when filing your application, you must apply in writing within six months of your application priority date.

Request for publication

An alternative to registration is publication. Publication can be seen as a defensive strategy in situations where you cannot register your design.

If you ask for publication your application will be checked and the design will be published in the Australian Official Journal of Designs and in Australian design search.

International design protection

If you file an application in another country within six months of filing your Australian application, the date of your Australian application will apply to that country as well. This is only the case if the country you are applying in is a member of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (the Paris Convention).

You will need to prepare representations of the design and complete some forms, all in the style required by the foreign country.

Excluded designs

If you are filing an application for a design that was excluded from a previous design application, you may be able to claim priority from the earlier application. If you wish to do so, you must indicate the design number that was given to that design in the previous application.

You must request registration or publication for an excluded design at the time of application. Otherwise the application will immediately lapse.

An application for an excluded design must be made before any of the designs in the initial publication are registered or published

More information

Last updated: 
2 March 2016