Have you designed a new product? Is it good looking? Do you want to protect its good looks? Then maybe design registration is for you. While patents seek to protect the functionality of a product, method or process, design registration is all about protecting the unique appearance of a product.

Our clients utilise the design registration system in Australia and overseas to protect their many and varied products. In many instances, design protection is vital in terms of their IP portfolio, as their customers often recognise their products in the marketplace solely on the basis of the product’s unique appearance. Product packaging can also provide useful subject matter for a design registration, as it’s often the packaging that a customer sees and recognises when purchasing the product, rather than the actual product.

Importantly, a design registration provides the means for preventing a competitor manufacturing a similar looking product, generally regardless of whether the competitor’s product functions in the same way.

Virtually any uniquely designed product can be the subject of a design registration. Our clients pursue design registration for a myriad of products, including:

  • Automobile wheels and tyres
  • Automobiles
  • Automotive after-market accessories
  • Bathroom products
  • Beverage containers
  • Building fixtures and fittings
  • Confectionary
  • Construction and building components
  • Electronic devices and accessories
  • Footwear
  • Furniture
  • Household appliances
  • Medical equipment
  • Perfume bottles
  • Pharmaceutical tablets and dispensers
  • Product packaging
  • Rail vehicles and rail vehicle components
  • Rainwater harvesting products
  • Spectacles
  • Tools.

One of the benefits of the design system, particularly in Australia, is that the application process is relatively cost-effective. The application process is also very quick – an Australian design registration can be obtained within a matter of weeks of filing an application.

Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick’s designs filing department can assist in preparing and filing design applications. Generally, all we require are drawings, or an electronic drawing file from which we can prepare the drawings for you.

It is also important that you advise us prior to filing an application as to any specific feature of the product that you consider particularly distinctive or important, so that the application we file for you adequately protects the design.

Get your timing right!

One of the most common mistakes encountered by design applicants is that of prior publishing the design. It may be enticing to release a product as soon as

possible into the marketplace, but please don’t do so prior to filing your Australian design application, as early disclosure will most likely invalidate the application.