A registered design (or design registration) provides a legally enforceable right to prevent others from using, selling, importing or producing a product that is the same or substantially similar in appearance to your product.
A registered design provides protection for the overall appearance of the product, which may include the shape, configuration, pattern and/or ornamentation of the product. The product can be anything that is manufactured or hand made, such as furniture, fashion items (e.g., bags, dresses, shirts, pants, jackets, swimwear, etc.), bottles, appliances, vehicles, or component parts.
In Australia, registered designs provide protection for up to 10 years.
In other jurisdictions, such as the USA, registered designs are referred to as “design patents”.
To qualify for a valid design registration, the design must be new and distinctive when compared to existing designs – that is, it must not be identical or substantially similar in overall impression to an existing design. Existing designs include designs publicly disclosed anywhere in the world and designs publicly used in Australia.