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Australia Design Registration Guide

Updated:2018-12-14 12:02:25    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:133

Australia design registration is governed under Designs Act 2003 (the Designs Act). A design is a type of intellectual property. It is the overall appearance of a product. The visual features that form the design include the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation of the product. To be registrable, a design must be new and distinctive. “New” means the design has not been publicly used in Australia nor has it been published in a document within or outside Australia.

Benefits of Design Registration
A registered design can be a valuable commercial asset. As the registered owner, you:
1. have the exclusive right to use the design specified in your registration;
2. have the exclusive right to authorize other people to use your design as specified in the registration;
3. have a registered design which is personal property that can grow in value and can be sold;
4. have a registration which covers the whole of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Many registered design owners will not need protection beyond registration for their design. However, for those who need to enforce protection of their design, i.e. to sue for infringement, registration is the first step.

Non-registrable Designs
Generally, you cannot register a design featuring:
1. medals;
2. layout for an integrated circuit;
3. the Olympic rings symbol, the Olympic motto or the torch and flames design, prescribed under the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987;
4. the word “Anzac”;
5. information or graphics which might reasonably be regarded as scandalous;
6. notes of a kind prohibited by subsection 19(1) of the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981;
7. the coat of arms, flags or seal of the Commonwealth or any State of the Commonwealth;
8. the coat of arms or emblems of any city or town in the Commonwealth or any State, Territory,
public authority or public institution in Australia;
9. armorial bearings, flags, State emblems or signs of any country other than the Commonwealth.

Filing an Application for Design Registration
Any person can file a design application, but the application must specify the person/s entitlement to be the owner/s of the design registration. The applicant must provide a contact address, phone number or email address.

Before filing a design application, it is a good idea to conduct a search of existing registered designs. If your registered design is not new and distinctive you may not be able to gain certification. You may also face legal action if you infringe the design rights of the owners of other similar designs. It can take us up to three months to process an application and do the formalities check.

Registered designs are not automatically examined. Before you can enforce your rights to your design, your registered design must be certified following an examination. If you request an examination of your design, this will happen within three months of the Registrar of Designs IP Australia receiving your request.

Length of Protection
Registration initially protects your design for five years from the date the application was filed. The design registration can be renewed for a further five years. If you do not renew your registration it will cease.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143512, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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