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Registered Designs.

A registered design protects the shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation of a product – that is, what gives a product a unique appearance.

Kings Patent & Trade Marks Attorneys are experts in registering designs and trademarks, ensuring your design will be yours, and only yours.

A design registration protects the visual appearance of a product embodying a design, including its shape, pattern, ornamentation and/or configuration. The registration provides its owner with a legal right to exclude others from the unauthorised commercialisation of a design that is identical, or substantially similar, to the registration. 

Generally, any handmade or manufactured product embodying a design may be protected by a design registration, provided that the visual appearance is new and distinctive compared to that of previously known products. 

Important Information About Registered Designs

It is important to note that design registration protection is limited to the visual appearance of the product.  That is, it does not protect functional aspects of a product or process; if functional protection is required, this can only normally be achieved using the patent process.

On the other hand, a registered patent cannot protect changes in the form of improvements to the appearance of a product; this can only be achieved using the registered design process. That is why it is important to have both a registered design and a patent for the same product to protect designs, both from a functional and design standpoint.

We at Kings are experienced in the preparation and filing of design registration applications for clients both big and small as well as design registration advice, prosecution and portfolio management.  

Sandwich Press patent drawing | Kings Patent & Trade Marks Attorneys

Pictured: Breville have long protected their products using Registered Designs, including this sandwich press from the 1980s

Useful Links:

  • Obtaining design protection in Australia and/ or overseas; and
  • Australian design application process

If you would like more information around design protection for your brand, please contact us to arrange your free consultation.

Australian Design Application Process

A design registration protects features of the appearance of a product (or part of it), namely its shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation. A design registration does not provide protection in relation to the construction or function of a product. A design registration should be seen as limited to the visual appearance of a product. The Designs Act 2003 allows for the registration of designs of component parts of complex products, but those registrations will be subject to a “right of repair” infringement exemption.

An Australian design registration has an effect throughout the whole of Australia.

In order to obtain a valid design registration, there should not have been any public or unrestricted disclosure of the design prior to the filing of the design application.

When applying for registration of a design, the application must be accompanied by representations of the product(s) illustrating the design features for which protection is required. Such representations are preferably drawings, but photographs may suffice.

Upon filing, the application will undergo a formalities check and the design will be registered if all formality matters are in order. However, the owner of an unexamined design registration will be unable to commence infringement proceedings against an alleged infringer until the design registration has been certified following examination.

Examination of a design can be requested at any time after registration. If the design is found to be “new and distinctive” and not “substantially similar in overall impression” to any earlier designs, a Certificate of Examination will issue. If not, the design registration will be revoked.

The total term of an Australian design registration is 10 years subject to payment of a renewal fee five years from the date of application for registration, i.e., the filing date.

Overseas Design Registration

Design registrations are granted by the Patent or Designs Offices of individual countries. Australian design registrations do not extend beyond Australia. Consequently, it is necessary to file design applications in other countries if overseas design protection is required. Overseas design applications are usually filed on a country-by-country basis. However, the European Community can be covered by a single Community Design Registration.

Checks should be made prior to filing to ensure that the appearance of the product constitutes a registrable design. For example, only ornamental designs are registrable in the United States of America.

Overseas design applications can claim priority from an Australian design application but the overseas design application must be filed within six months of filing the Australian design application.

Need more information in regards to Registered Designs? Contact Us Today

Our Experienced Team

Jack King-Scott | Director | Kings Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

Jack King-Scott, PHD - Director

PATENT AND TRADE MARKS ATTORNEY (AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND)

Jack is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney as well as a registered Australian trade marks attorney.

Clinton Priddle | Director | Kings Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

Clinton Priddle - Director

PATENT AND TRADE MARKS ATTORNEY (AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND)

Clinton is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney as well as a registered Australian trade marks attorney.

Jonathan Lewis | Kings Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

Jonathan Lewis

PATENT AND TRADE MARKS ATTORNEY (AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND)

Jonathan is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney as well as a registered Australian trade marks attorney.

Melanie Serafini | Kings Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys

Melanie Serafini

PATENT AND TRADE MARKS ATTORNEY (AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND)

Melanie is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney as well as a registered Australian trade marks attorney.

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