A registered design provides protection for what something looks like, rather than what it does or how it does it. It protects features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation that are applied to an article. Some examples of products that may have registered design protection would be a distinctively shaped bottle, a handbag shape or an interestingly shaped piece of furniture. 

Applying for and gaining registered design protection for an article is a relatively quick process (compared to having a patent granted) and typically requires the submission of drawings of your article together with additional descriptive information. Any application for a design registration must be submitted before the design has been made public.

In Australia, a registered design will give you a maximum of 10 years protection, while in New Zealand design registrations can be renewed for up to 15 years. Terms vary in other jurisdictions.


Like patents, design registrations are only valid in their country of registration. We can assist you in filing your local and international design applications to ensure your products have protection in your key markets.