Key Concepts


A design must be new, that is the design must not have been published anywhere in the world prior to the filing date of the design application.


A design is considered distinctive unless it is substantially similar in overall impression to any design publicly used in Australia, any design published in a document anywhere in the world, and any designs which have been disclosed in earlier design applications.

Statement of Newness and Distinctiveness

Statements of Newness and Distinctiveness are used in identifying particular visual features of a product to which ‘particular regard’ should be given when considering the coverage of the design registration.

Informed User

In assessing the distinctiveness of a design application the standard of an Informed User is applied.

Examples of Informed Users include:

  • An electrician for a design application for a faceplate and switch
  • Professionals and consumers who had made it their business to be particularly aware of options available of the layout of toothbrush bristles for a design application for a set of toothbrush bristles


The initial period of registration for a design lasts for five years from the filing date of the application and may be renewed for a further five years.