A registered design is very useful to protect a product’s appearance.
They are required to be new and distinctive.
Unfortunately, in Australia there is no grace period provided prior to registration, so you need to make sure that you do not publish your design anywhere prior to when you register – otherwise, it becomes what’s referred to as the “prior art base” and cannot be registered as “new” and “distinctive”.
Once registered, a design will be protected for a period of 5 years and then the potential to renew for a further 5 years.
There’s a lot you can register as a design and in Australia, you can register designs for items which may have both a functional and aesthetic purpose.
IP Australia will check the application for formal requirements in the examination process, which will usually take 3 months.
Once registered, you have further legal rights to obtain Court injunctions to stop infringers, the ability to grant a licence for others to use it, mark packaging with the registered rights and sell the registered design if you wish.
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