What is a design? IP Part 3

collection from Colico Design

What is a design?

Design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which, when applied to a product, gives the product a unique appearance.

You can register a design but it must be new and distinctive.

A registered design can be a valuable commercial asset. Once your registered design is examined and certified, you have the exclusive and legally enforceable right to use, license or sell your design.

Please note:

Design registration is intended to protect designs which have an industrial or commercial use. Designs which are essentially ARTISTIC WORKS are covered by copyright legislation and ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for design registration. The protection you receive is only for the visual appearance of manufactured products, not how it works.

Durationof protection

Registration initially protects your design for five years. You can then renew the registration for a further five years.

Who administers designs?

Applications should be filed with the designs section of IP Australia. They will assess whether your invention is new and if it meets the legislative requirements.

Copyright protects the original expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. It is free and automatically safeguards your original works of art and literature, music,films, sound recording, broadcasts and computer programs from copying and certain other uses. Copyright is not registered in Australia.

Material is protected from the time it is first written down, painted or drawn, filmed or taped. Copyright material will also enjoy protection under the laws of other countries who are signatories to the international treaties, of which Australia is a member.
Copyright protection is provided under the Copyright Act 1968 and gives exclusive rights to license others in regard to copying the work, performing it in public, broadcasting it,publishing it and making an adaptation of the work. Rights vary according to the nature of the work. Those for artistic works, for instance, are different to those for literary and musical works.
Although making copies of copyright material can infringe exclusive rights, a certain amount of copying is permissible under the fair dealing provisions of the legislation.
Copyright doesn’t protect you against independent creation of a similar work. Legal actions against infringement are complicated by the fact that a number of different copyrights may exist in some works – particularly films, broadcasts and multimedia products.

To Learn more about IP, Please visit

IP Australia

Tune in next Friday for Part 4: “What is A Copyright?”
Previous Post:

What is a Trade Mark? IP Part 2

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.