A design right protects the overall visual appearance of new and distinctive products.​

At IP Australia we receive around 7500 design applications a year.

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Understanding designs

A design right protects the overall visual appearance of new and distinctive products

What a design right is


Find out what a design right is, and what it does and doesn't protect

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The benefits protecting your design

Learn about the benefits of registering and certifying your design.

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The difference between designs and other IP

Find out about how design rights can work together with other IP rights.

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Applying for a design

Knowing what to expect before you apply can help you avoid costly mistakes.

    Checklist before applying

    Complete this checklist before you apply to make sure a design right is the right option for you.

    Don't go public too soon

    It's hard not to tell others about something you are proud of, but you need to keep your design a secret before you apply.

    The process of applying for a design right

    Australia has a two-step process for securing design right protection: registration and certification

    Images of your design

    An important part of your application is representing your design with images.

    What to include in your application

    Now you’re ready to apply, find out what you need to include in your application.

    Responding to a formalities notice

    We will make sure your application meets our requirements. Here’s how to overcome any issues raised.

Managing your design

Managing your design is important to make sure you benefit from your IP.

Renewing and amending your design


Once your design has been registered it will last for five years. You can then renew your registration for a further five years.

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Protecting your design


It is important to protect your design against copycats.

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Register overseas


If you plan on marketing your product overseas, you will need to consider registering your design in other countries.

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International designs

A design can be taken overseas, here's how.

Register overseas


Find out what a design right is and gain an overview of the time and costs involved. Also learn about what designs can't be registered.

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Registration and certification


A registered design helps give your business a competitive edge. Taking the next step to certify your design gives you the legal rights to defend it.

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If you plan on marketing your product overseas, you will need to consider registering your Australian registered design to help protect your product.

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Design initiatives

IP Australia is undertaking several initiatives to ensure the Australian designs system is fit for purpose and supports the Australian economy now and in the future.

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More about designs...

IP Australia design examiner Joe

Design examiners are often the first point of contact for many of the most ingenious innovations originating in Australia.

Canberran Trish Smith sat on a plane waiting for take-off.

Illustration of designs ecosystem
4 December 2019

IP Australia is conducting a review of Australia’s design ecosystem to better understand what drives visual design innovation and

3 December 2019

On 2 December 2019, IP Australia hosted a Designs Forum in collaboration with the University of Sydney.