Industrial Design Application

Protecting your intellectual property

As always with intellectual property, early protection is paramount – the early bird catches the worm – and this is fundamental if your seeking to register a design.  You must file for registration PRIOR to disclosing or releasing the design to the public.  If you do not, you waive the right to protect your design with registered rights.

To obtain registration of a design the design must be “new” and “distinctive”

  • To be “new” a design must not be identical to a design which was previously published in a document in or outside of Australia or used in Australia. 
  • To be “distinctive” a design cannot be substantially similar in overall impression to any previously published design, or used in Australia. 

Unlike patents, there is no grace period for filing Australian designs.  Once the design has been disclosed it will not be possible to register your design.

  • A pre-filing registrability search is conducted to ascertain whether a design is registrable. To find out if your design is novel you need to at least search the Australian Designs Register.  Please contact Raven IP if you would like our assistance in advising you in this regard.
  • Please be aware that the Australian Design novelty test is now absolute ie. representations held overseas can count against novelty in Australia.  It is possible to search the US Design Patent Register to undertake further research on your design and whether it would be considered novel.
  • Applying for an Australian design registration involves filing ‘representations’ of the design and a statement of newness and distinctiveness which identifies the particular visual features of the design as new and distinctive.
  • Drawings and images play an important role in any design registration as it is the visual features of the design as applied to the product that are shown in these drawings and images which can determine the newness of the design. These drawings or photographs should be of good quality and accurately show the overall visual features of your design.
  • The design is registered within weeks of applying without examination but if you wish to take an infringement action against an imitator, your design must be examined and certified by the Australian Designs Office of IP Australia. 
  • The Registered Design runs initially for five years and can be renewed for a further five years on payment of a fee.  After ten years it lapses and is in the public domain for all to use freely.

It is possible to file overseas applications based on your Australian registered design within 6 months of applying in Australia and obtain the latter date as your priority date for the overseas registration. Visit the International Design Applications page to learn more.

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