Design Registrability Advice

A design will be registrable if the design is new and distinctive when compared with the prior art base.  The prior art base includes:

  • designs publicly used in Australia,
  • designs which have been published in a document either in Australia or elsewhere, and
  • designs which have been disclosed in earlier design applications.

A design is distinctive unless it is substantially similar in overall impression to a design that forms part of the prior art base.  When making judgement as to whether a design is substantially similar in overall impression to another design, more weight should be given to similarities between the designs than to difference between them. This is the same test as the infringement test.


Registering your design gives you the exclusive right to make, sell, import, use, keep and authorise your product in Australia for five years. It is the most effective way to ensure the monopoly right for your product and protect it against infringement.