Last updated: 
18 December 2020

Our role is to administer the design rights system in Australia. We can provide you information about design rights and help you secure protection. We are not able to give you advice about actions you can take against potential infringement of your design right.

If you require personalised advice on enforcing your design against infringement, you may wish to contact an IP professional. Learn more about IP professionals.

Enforcement is up to you

Once you have secured design right protection, you need to keep an eye out to make sure no one is using your design without your permission. If you find your design is being copied or used by someone else without your permission, it is up to you to take action against them.

We do not police design rights or launch legal proceedings on your behalf.

Learn more about IP infringement and enforcement.

Certification is essential to enforce your design right

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

Both steps are necessary to enforce your design right and stop others from using your design or a very similar design, without your permission.

After you have registered your design, you (or another person) can request for us to examine it. If your registered design passes this examination, we will then certify the registration.

Once your design has been certified, you may be able to take legal action if you believe someone is infringing your design right.

However, it's important to note that if your registered design doesn't pass examination, your registration will cease. This means you will not have a design right, so it will no longer form part of your enforcement strategy.

Learn more about the two steps in protecting your design right: registration and certification.

Don’t wait: prepare your approach in advance

We recommend you put a strategy in place early to:

  • think about how you can prevent infringement from occurring
  • plan how you would respond if you discover potential infringement.

You should include this as part of your overall commercialisation strategy.

To put you in the best position to defend against infringement, you should:

  • monitor what is happening in the market
  • communicate your legal rights
  • if necessary, defend your rights through legal action.

Having a strategy in place can help you act faster in enforcing your rights.

Actions you can take to enforce your design right

There are a number of actions you can take if you believe your design right is being infringed. The action you take will depend on the outcome you are seeking.

Learn more about enforcing your IP.