registered designs protect distinctive features

Registered designs can protect the distinctive look of an article – including the article’s shape, configuration, pattern, and ornamentation.  A registered design gives you, the owner, exclusion rights to commercially use, licence or sell the registration.

Design registration lasts for five years from the application filing date, however this is renewable for a further five years – for a maximum of ten years.

What is the process to register a design?

There are several important steps to obtaining a registered design. The registration process can take around three months to complete when left to run its natural course. However, please contact us if you require a registered design urgently, and we may be able to speed up the process.

Step 1: Prepare and finalise your design

Design registrations are specific to the exact “look and feel” of the product. Therefore, it is important that any changes to the design are made before registration. Should a significant change be made to the product after registration, for example, due to production processes, it may be that your design registration no longer covers your retail product.

Therefore, taking the time to finalise and complete your product prior to lodging your design registration will result in much stronger protection for your business.

Step 2: Draft application

The actual application consists of both drawings of your design and product, and a statement highlighting the new and distintive aspects of your design. This statement must be well crafted in order for you to obtain the broadest protection possible for your design.

We recommend that expert professional advice is obtained to assist with preparing your application. Contact us to discuss how we can help with your design.

Step 3: Lodge application

Once you have perfected your application drawings and statement, the design application is lodged with IP Australia, together with the official application fee.  At this time, the design will undergo a formalities check.  Provided this is successful, the design is able to be registered.

Step 4: Optional examination

Once registered, in order to be legally enforceable, your design must pass through a formal examination procedure – known as certification. This is an optional procedure, which you may opt to pursue, for example, in order to legally enforce your rights against a third party, as part of a due diligence process during negotiations with a potential investor, or the like.

During examination, an examiner at IP Australia will review the application to ensure that it meets all the requirements for registration – including whether the design is new and distinctive.

Step 5: Certification

Once you have successfully navigated through the examination process, the registered design will be issued a notice confirming the design rights are enforceable.  Remember, only once the application is certified can the design registration be enforced against unauthorised infringing third parties.

IP Australia provides further information regarding the design registration and certification procedure, here.

How much does it cost to register my design?

The Official Fee payable for each design application is $250.  Renewing your design registration for a further 5 years costs $320 in Official Fees.  Optional certification for your design is available – and the official fee for requesting examination is $420.

Our service fees for your filing your design registration application depends on the complexity of your design. However, at innofy we believe that our flat-fee billing practices means that you can obtain quality advice for less. Contact us for a no-obligation chat about your design application.