About Our Services


What is a Registered Design?

Registered Designs protect the appearance of a product. A “design” is the visual features such as shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which gives a product its appearance.

About Designs

Requirements for Design Registration

Registered Designs are required to be “new” and “distinctive”. To be “new” a design must not be identical to a design which was previously disclosed by publication such as on the internet or used in Australia. To be “distinctive” a design is required to be not substantially similar in overall impression to a design previously disclosed by publication such as on the internet, or used in Australia. There is a limited grace period for Australian designs, but – this is not the case for many overseas countries – so it is still important not to disclose your design before filing an application (or at least seeking advice), as your prior disclosure may become part of the prior art, and result in your design not being considered new and distinctive.

Term of Design Protection

Australian Registered Designs have a maximum term of 10 years.

Did you know that Registered Designs are called different names in overseas countries? For example, in the USA a Registered Design is referred to as a ‘Design Patent’ and in Europe a registered design is referred to as a ‘Community Design’. Some countries even refer to ‘Product Designs’. Even with the different names, the basic concept behind each of these rights is similar (with some exceptions) with design rights being available for a new product with a unique appearance.

Need Help?

At Caska IP our Patent Attorneys specialise in the preparation and filing of registered designs in Australia and in overseas jurisdictions such as in the USA, China and the EU. Design law, especially international design law, can be quite complex and the drawings are very specific which is why we employ a specialist illustrator to craft our design drawings.

If you would like to secure robust design rights for a new product in Australia or overseas, please contact us and we will guide you through the process.


Registered Designs Q & A

Below are a few common questions we have had from individuals and businesses. We have provided answers to these questions for general information purposes only and these answers are not intended to be legal advice. If you required more information about designs – feel free to give us a call for a free initial discussion.

  1. Can I just file a picture or photograph for my design?

    In some cases, yes – in other cases – no. A design application may seem simple but there are a number of traps for the unsuspecting – especially the drawings. The scope of protection offered by a design is limited to the visual representation filed with the design application. So, if you file a photograph (or poor quality drawings) you may be limited to all the visual features shown which can be a problem in some instances. Accordingly, in some cases, it is best to show a canonical version of your design in the application to attempt to seek broader rights via specially crafted design drawings. However, choice of the representation is very much case-by-case and we would be happy to further discuss your design with you.

  2. What is the difference between a Design and a Patent?

    Registered Designs protect the way something looks whereas patents protect the way something works. Of course, in some cases, there is some overlap and we can help you work out whether to file for a patent, a design or both. For example, if you designed a new pair of scissors with a unique shaped handle, then you may be able to seek Design protection. However, as the function of scissors and scissor handles are known, and therefore not new, you would have difficultly obtaining patent protection unless there was some new functional advantage to your scissors.

  3. Can I file a Design Application Overseas?

    Yes. Typically, a Design application is filed in Australia and, within 6 months, a convention design application is filed in other countries of interest such as the USA, Europe and China. The specific design law and requirements for each county do vary and these variations should be taken into account when preparing your initial Australian application. We would be happy to discuss these variations with you.

  4. What products may be protected by a Design?

    Many different products may be protected, for example, pump and wind turbine blades, fashion products such as dresses and shoes, furniture and decorative items, surfing equipment and computers, tablets and phones to name a few. Unlike some jurisdictions there is no prohibition on Australian designs incorporating visual features which are primarily functional rather than ornamental in nature.


What our clients say

As I move into consultancy, I would like to acknowledge your part in assisting WEARX achieve its IP management plan objectives. We moved our portfolio for a large Sydney based Patent Attorney firm in mid-2013 to Caska IP – and I’m pleased to say this has paid off. Your dedicated approach to finding the best way to provide us with appropriate IP protection in challenging market conditions, has helped us achieve commercial security and good management. In summary, your service level and cost base has exceeded our expectations.

Jerry Hoslin, Director & Founder, WearX

I have been involved in business consultancy for over 25 years. This has involved launching new businesses, ideas, products as well as assisting existing businesses to expand. In that time I have experienced many start ups and dealt with a large range of Intellectual Property. Andrew Caska, Principal Patent Attorney of Caska IP, has recently provided his services to one of my clients and we worked closely to formalise important patents and trade marks. His understanding of the invention, his work and timely delivery were all first class and we are very happy with the outcomes.

Grant Harms, Business Consultant, Punchbox.co

Caska IP has been more than supportive in protecting Automed Pty Ltd IP for the agricultural and medical industry. In working with IP& we have developed a clear IP strategy for patents and trademarks for our products, for the Australian market and the international market. We are more than happy with their dedication and level of service and would recommend them to any small or large organisation

David Edwards, CEO & Founder, Automed Pty Ltd

As an individual inventor, I set out to find a Patent Attorney service that was accessible and reasonably priced to assist in lodging my first patent application. I found Caska IP to be not only affordable and accessible, but highly professional and attentive to my needs and requirements. Caska IP worked with me to assist in refining my idea and expressing its unique qualities. I highly recommend Caska IP to the individual inventor.

Lester Walters, Inventor, QUAD R&D Pty Ltd

I was relatively unaware of what was needed and admit to being a bit nervous. Your perception and interpretation of what I was trying to achieve gave me great comfort. On receipt of the initial draft I was impressed with the professional presentation and the attention to detail with little alteration being required. You may rest assured that I will be using Caska IP for future projects (of which I have several) after this one is put to bed.

John Plumridge, Inventor

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Patent Attorney Sydney and Newcastle Australia