Under the Designs Act 2003, once a design application has been filed it can be registered following a formality check. A request for registration must be filed within 6 months from the filing date. Once the request for registration is filed the Certificate will issue.


    A design registration remains in force for ten years with renewal fees payable after the first five years.


    Your design will be published upon registration. Our practice is to defer registration and thereby publication until closer to the time limit. If early publication is desirable, instructions would be required. The registration is enforceable only if it is certified by an examination process. A request for examination can be made at any time. We request examination only when specifically instructed.


    Please note, registration means the design will be published by the Designs Office in Canberra. However, you may wish to refile the design if you have kept it secret and it is not yet public. Refiling will be as if the present application never existed and you will have a new application and a new date.


    For example, if you want overseas protection but you want to delay the cost of overseas “convention” applications.


    As Australia is party to an International Convention giving 6 months protection, at the time of writing, in 118 “Convention” countries, “Convention” applications for registration of designs must be filed within six months of your Australian filing date otherwise your overseas protection, will in most cases, lapse.


    European Community Design

    It is now possible at 6 months to file a “Community Design” as a “Convention” application covering all 29 EEC countries.


    Public Disclosure

    Once the application has been filed, you are free to exploit the design publicly by way of sales, advertising, etc, without jeopardising the protection to be obtained from the registration. Public disclosure will prevent refiling.


    Variations on your design

    You may turn your mind to how a competitor might vary in an effort to avoid your registration. This will usually involve some shift in eye appearance that is itself a new design feature that alters the “overall impression” but retains the same function.


    This is somewhat subjective so if you think there is some variation that you would like protected as well as a defensive measure please let us know so we can consider filing extra variations.


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