Designs

Our team of professionals at Eagar & Associates works with clients to identify and protect the visual features of new and distinctive products that appeal to the eye.

We advise clients on developing a strategy for using designs to reinforce or establish intellectual property rights residing in their products.

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An Overview of Designs

A design is the overall appearance of a product resulting from one or more visual features of the product. Shape and configuration of the product are examples of visual features of the product.

Registered designs can protect owners against direct copying of products. For example, a registered design can protect an article that has a new and distinctive appearance.

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Further information.

The Importance of Confidentiality

Public disclosures, (e.g., disclosures to persons not under an obligation to keep a design secret) before filing a first application to register a design may eliminate any rights to design protection in many jurisdictions around the world.

Unlike patents, however, there is no grace period in Australia. Some countries, such as the U.S., have a 12-month grace period. However, any party taking definite steps to copy the design during the grace period may have intervening rights and be protected against any infringement proceedings.

Application for registration

The protection afforded by a registered design depends, in large part, on the representations filed together with the application. Therefore, it is recommended that high quality, realistic representations be filed in support of the application.

Good quality line drawings, without shading except that necessary to show contours or curves, are preferable. In some cases, digital photographs or 3D modelling software can be used provided the representations show the design clearly. The photographs should be in black and white and should be of high resolution. Usually, good quality photographs taken with a modern mobile phone will suffice.

The application for the registration of a design can establish a priority date for applications for design registration overseas. The priority date is the relevant date for assessing the registrability of the invention. Any material that was publicly available before the priority date can be considered by an examiner during examination of a later filed application for registration.

Further applications for design registration must be filed within 6 months of the earliest priority date to claim the benefit of the priority date.

Examination

An application for registration of a design is only examined for compliance with formalities. This includes such formalities as suitable representations, the name of the product to which the design is to applied and unity of design. The application will proceed to registration if the formalities are met, without an examination as to whether the design complies with the substantive requirements of newness and distinctiveness.

However, the registration will need to be examined for compliance with substantive statutory requirements and a certificate issued before it can be enforced.

Term and Renewal

A design registration is renewable once within 5 years of the filing date. Renewal provides a further 5 years of registration for the remainder of the 10 year life of the registered design.

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Related knowledge.

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Contact us.

Please call us on (07) 5679 8233 or visit our contact page at the link below to make an appointment.

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Get in touch with a business-savvy team that is committed to protecting your intellectual property interests.