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This is 2 part series for patent application guide for Australia and Drawing specification for the patent application

Part 2: Drawing specification for the patent application

Is your design responsible for the overall appearance of a product? The overall appearance can include the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

A design does not protect the way a product works.

If you're looking to protect the way a product works or to distinguish your business, perhaps you are after another type of intellectual property.

  • A trademark distinguishes your business from other traders and can be done in a visual way. A type of trademark that can be confused with a design is a shape trademark. This is a three-dimensional shape used to distinguish the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders.
  • A patent protects inventions and new processes – how something works or functions.

Your Design IP rights:

To be entitled as an owner of a design you can be:

  • the person who conceived the design (such as the designer)
  • the employer of the designer, if the designer made the design while working for you
  • the person who contracted the designer to make the design
  • the person to whom the designer has assigned the design in writing.

Where two or more people own interests in a design, they must apply jointly.

The owner may be an individual, a company, an association or a partnership. However, if applying as a company, association or partnership, do not apply using a trading name or a trust.

The process for applying for registration of your design involves a number of steps. You need to make sure you understand and complete each step in order, so your application can be processed quickly and easily. There are also a number of things to know before you start an application.

What a design right gives you

Design registration is intended to protect designs that have an industrial or commercial use. A registered design gives you, the owner, exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell it.

What design is

A design is the overall appearance of a product. The visual features that form the design include the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation.

A product is something that is manufactured or handmade. The mechanics of how a product works or operates are not protected by designs rights, but may instead be protected using a patent.

Some designs can not legally be registered. These include designs for medals, layouts for integrated circuits, Australian currency and scandalous design.

Eligibility - deciding who owns the design

To be entitled as an owner of a design you can be:

  • the person who conceived the design (such as the designer)
  • the employer of the designer, if the designer made the design while working for you
  • the person who contracted the designer to make the design
  • the person to whom the designer has assigned the design in writing.

Where two or more people own interests in a design, they must apply jointly.

The owner may be an individual, a company, an association or a partnership. However, if applying as a company, association or partnership, do not apply using a trading name or a trust.

Is my design new and distinctive?

Your design must be new and distinctive to be registered.

New - it must not be identical to any design previously disclosed anywhere in the world. This includes anything published anywhere in the world or publicly used in Australia.

Distinctive - it must not be substantially similar in overall impression to any design previously disclosed anywhere in the world. This also includes anything published anywhere in the world or publicly used in Australia.

It may help your application if you state how the design is new and distinct but this is not mandatory.

International design protection

If you file an application in another country within six months of filing your Australian application, the date of your Australian application will apply to that country as well. This is only the case if the country you are applying in is a member of the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (the Paris Convention).

You will need to prepare representations of the design and complete some forms, all in the style required by the foreign country.

Don't Publicize your design

It's really hard not to tell others about something you are proud of or excited about, but you really need to keep your design a secret if you want to be able to legally protect it.

For your design to be registered it needs to be determined as ‘new’ or ‘distinctive’. This means you can’t have published it anywhere in the world or publicly used it in Australia before applying to register it.

Design Search

Before submitting a design application you should conduct a search of previously registered designs. This will help you determine whether your proposed design is new and distinctive, and therefore worth registering or not.

A search will also determine if a similar design has already been registered.

Australian design search

Australian design search includes up-to-date information on all applications and registrations from 1986 and all registrations captured from 1973 to 1985 that were still active in 1985.

You can also use this search tool to help you determine who owns a design if you want to:

  • obtain a licence to use that design
  • buy the design
  • loan money to the owner of valuable design and then take a mortgage over it.

International designs databases

The two largest international designs databases are held by the European Patent Organisation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has links to the sites of many international IP offices.

Has the design been mortgaged

All security interests such as mortgages over a design must be recorded by the secured party on the national Personal Property Securities Register. This register can be searched to find out whether there is a mortgage over a design. It is no longer a legal securities register.

All claimed security interests including mortgages are currently available through Australian design search.

Seeking a search professional

An important part of design searching is properly interpreting the often complex search results and using these databases effectively is a specialised skill that can sometimes be time-consuming and costly.

If you feel you need assistance, professional searches, specific assistance and advice are available from intellectual property (IP) professionals and search firms.

Drawings Preparations:

Drawings and images (representations) are an important part of your design registration. These drawings or photographs should be of good quality and accurately show the overall visual features of your design as applied to the product.

Requirements for all representations

There is no requirement for a specific number of views. However, you must provide sufficient views to fully display your design, which usually requires a number of views.
We prefer traditional views (front, side and top) but will also accept perspective or isometric views. (See image below).

All views must show exactly the same design. This particularly applies to colour, as colour is usually a visual feature of the design.

If your application includes a statement of newness and distinctiveness the representations should be consistent.

patent drawing specification

Key points for drawings

Drawings should:

  • be accurately drawn, not sketches, on A4 size paper with well-defined line-work
  • only show the design in question and no descriptive wording or dimensions, however, labelling of views such as ‘perspective view’ or ‘rear views’ is acceptable
  • use broken or dashed lines when highlighting:
    • elements of the product other than those bearing the visual features of the design
    • parts of the design that are referred to in the statement of newness and distinctiveness
    • boundaries, such as a pattern applied to part of a surface, stitching and perforations
    • features that establish an environmental context.

Shading and cross-hatching can be used to show a visual feature of the design.

Key points for photographs or digital images

Photographs or digital images should:

  • be clear originals
  • show the product against a plain contrasting background and avoid matter not relevant to the design
  • be A4 or mounted on A4 white paper.

Other details

If it's a multiple design application then each design should be clearly indicated, with each design shown on a separate sheet.

Complex products

Sometimes a design is applied to a part of a complex product and that part can be readily assembled and disassembled from that product. If the component part qualifies as a product, then broader protection may be gained by defining this as a stand-alone part.

Australian Design and drafting helping clients all over from Australia for patent design and drafting needs. We have a strict NDA agreement that allows for protecting innovator rights. Contact us for more details.

 

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