links & tags
page looks at designs, a category of industrial property.
It covers -
Australian regime is explored in more detail in a supplementary
As noted earlier in this guide, patent and design protection
(along with protection of trademarks and geographical
indications) comprises the category of intellectual property
known as 'industrial property'.
Most nations have enacted legislation regarding patents
(for the protection of 'inventions', ie innovations in
products or processes) and designs (the appearance of
Broad consistency across the national regimes is provided
by the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of
Industrial Property and the Agreement on the
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
Industrial property includes 'designs', with the expectation
that registration will protect designs that have an industrial
or commercial use. (Designs that are essentially artistic
works - eg one-off rather than manufactured - are covered
by copyright legislation and not eligible for design registration).
Protection under designs legislation concerns the visual
appearance of manufactured products rather than how those
items perform. It thus relates to the shape, configuration,
pattern or ornamentation which, when applied to a product,
gives that item a unique appearance.
Registration is restricted to designs that are "new
and distinctive". In Australia registration initially
protects a design for five years, with scope for renewal
for a further five years.
Australian and overseas legislation
Australian design protection legislation is -
Designs Act 2003, updating the 1906 Designs
protecting the shape or appearance of manufactured goods
for industrial or commercial use
1989 Circuit Layouts Act (here),
covering the three-dimensional configuration of electronic
circuits in integrated circuit products or layout designs
New Zealand the salient legislation is the
Layout Designs Act 1994
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial
Property, concluded in 1883, is one of the bases
of the international intellectual property system and
is a counterpart to the Berne Convention. It
applies to industrial property in the broadest sense:
inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models
(a form of patent under the laws of some countries), trade
names and geographical indications (indications of source
and appellations of origin). As of December 2002 some
164 states were part of the Convention.
The Australian Industrial Property Office (AIPO),
the local version of the US Patent Office, has recently
published an online version
of its detailed Manual of Practice & Procedure.
In Australia figures for the number of designs are
2003-4 some 18,000 trademarks, 900 designs and 3,000 patents
were registered in New Zealand. The same year saw renewal
of 9,310 trademarks, 600 designs and 8,570 patents.
page (names and links)