Trade Marks 

Registered Designs 

Janet Stead & Associates assists many overseas patent and trade mark firms, and overseas clients, with the protection of intellectual property rights in Australia and New Zealand.


What is a registered design?

A registered design protects the shape or appearance of an article. Whilst a patent covers the way something 'works', a registered design protects the way something 'looks'.

Registered designs must have features of shape, such as the shape of a bottle or guttering, or features of ornamentation, such as the pattern applied to a fabric or a tyre tread applied to a tyre.

What are the requirements for design registration?

To be registrable, a design must be new and distinctive. 'New' requires that the design has not been published in a document anywhere in the world, and that it has not being publicly used in Australia. A design is “distinctive” if it is substantially different in overall appearance to other designs already in the public domain.

How do I protect my design with design registration?

The patent attorneys at Janet Stead & Associates are able to assist with registered design protection. We are also able to assist you with the preparation of suitable drawings to accompany your design application.

Under the present design registration system in Australia, an application will only be registered and published if we make a specific request within 6 months of the filing date of the application. If registration is requested, the design application will be subject to a formalities check to ensure that the application has been correctly filed. If the application passes the formalities check, the design will be registered and a Certificate of Registration will issue. At this time, the design will also be published. However, a registered design does not allow an owner to enforce their rights until the design has been certified following an examination.

We are able to advise on further details regarding the procedures for design registration, as well as the applicable costs.

It is often appropriate to seek both patent and design protection for a particular invention and we are able to comment further in this regard if necessary.

How long does a registered design last?

The initial period of registration of a design lasts for 5 years from the filing date of the application. The design may be renewed for a further 5 year term, giving a maximum of 10 years for design registration. However, please note that the term of some designs filed prior to June 2004 may be longer than 10 years.