Your designs can be protected in Australia under the Design Act 2003, which provides both enforcement and dispute resolution procedures. A registered design is a legal right which protects the overall visual appearance of a product, which may have industrial or commercial use. Registrable designs must have features of shape, pattern, or ornamentation, which are present in the product and which must be apparent to the eye. The registration and certification of a design will grant the owner of a Design the right to use, make, and sell products under the registered design for a period of up to ten years.
The applicant must must be the designer or author of the design, or someone who has received the design rights from the designer. A design application must be filed prior to the design's exposure in a public manner, such as in any forms of commercial dealing; otherwise valid design protection may no longer be possible. Once a design application has been filed, the design can be used for commerical purposes.
Design protection procedure involves filing and a request for registration. This can be done in conjunction with the the design application or no longer than six months from the earliest priority date (usually the filing date) and filing date. Follwoing logement of the registration request, the design will proceed to registration. The registration cannot be enforced until it has been examined and certified.
Atkinson IP can prepare and file all documents and drawings, handle objections from the examination of your application by the Designs Office. In addition, our services include:
• Provide advice and assistance in litigation for registered designs
• File, prosecute or defend opposition or cancellation proceeding
• Conduct searches of all types, including newness, subject matter, infringement and name index searches
• Monitoring designs and design applications
• Renewal (maintenance) procedures
The initial period of registration for your design lasts for five years from the date of filing. For a design to be enforceable, it must have been examined and is found new and distinctive. Not all designs and registrable and some are forbidden by law.
If a design application passes the formalities check, the design will then be registered and published.