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.
A design involves the shape and appearance of an article, which in its two dimensional representation is initially automatically protected by copyright if it is original. However if you wish to mass produce and sell the actual article with the benefit of a legal monopoly your design must be new and different and you must register it.
To find out if your design is novel you need to at least search the Australian Designs Register. Please contact us 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.
If you believe that your design is novel we can file an application to register it in Australia. 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 Designs International Registration page to learn more.