Friday, July 22, 2011

What is a design? IP Part 3

Diva Chair
collection from Colico Design

What is a design?

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

You can register a designbut it must be new and distinctive.

A registered design can bea valuable commercial asset. Once your registered design is examined andcertified, you have the exclusive and legally enforceable right to use, licenseor sell your design.


Design registration isintended 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 onlyfor the visual appearance of manufactured products, not how it works.

Durationof protection

Registration initiallyprotects your design for five years. You can then renew the registration for afurther five years.

Who administers designs?

Applications should befiled with the designs section of IP Australia. They will assess whether yourinvention is new and if it meets the legislative requirements.

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

Material is protected fromthe time it is first written down, painted or drawn, filmed or taped. Copyrightmaterial will also enjoy protection under the laws of other countries who aresignatories to the international treaties, of which Australia is a member.

Copyright protection isprovided under the Copyright Act 1968 and gives exclusive rights to licenseothers in regard to copying the work, performing it in public, broadcasting it,publishing it and making an adaptation of the work. Rights vary according tothe nature of the work. Those for artistic works, for instance, are differentto those for literary and musical works.

Although making copies ofcopyright material can infringe exclusive rights, a certain amount of copyingis permissible under the fair dealing provisions of the legislation.

Copyright doesn't protectyou against independent creation of a similar work. Legal actions againstinfringement are complicated by the fact that a number of different copyrightsmay 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?"

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What is a Trade Mark? IP Part 2

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