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Copyright and Design Registration in Australia, New Zealand and Overseas

The Copyright Act confers copyright protection in Australia on all original artistic works and works of artistic craftsmanship. This is so whether or not the work is made inside or outside of Australia. Artistic works cover two dimensional aesthetic paintings and sketches as well as engineering drawings for articles of manufacture.

Industrial Application

The Copyright Act confers copyright protection in Australia on all original artistic works and works of artistic craftsmanship. This is so whether or not the work is made inside or outside of Australia. Artistic works cover two dimensional aesthetic paintings and sketches as well as engineering drawings for articles of manufacture.

If a copyright owner decides to industrially apply a design on an article based on the owner’s original artistic work, then an application may be made to register the design, providing it is deemed to be a new design, otherwise they must file a design application before the artistic work is published.

However two dimensional designs with features of pattern or ornamentation applied to a surface of an article are excluded from the definition of a corresponding design and therefore enjoy copyright protection irrespective of whether there is industrial application or not.

 Please Note:

Design registration is necessary as copyright protection is lost with industrial application of the corresponding design and sale of at least two of the subsequent articles.

More About Design Registration

Know what you need to protect

What can you protect to own a technology niche, market position, and unique market presence?

Corporate Name and Logo Your company’s name and logo are trade marks. Registering these trade marks gives you ownership in respect of your products and services throughout Australia (or other countries).
Slogans, Phrases, Words or Numbers A memorable slogan or phrase that customers associate with your brand, products, and servicing. (Eg: just do it). New words (Eg: Kodak), unique spelling of a word or alphanumeric combinations (Eg: 7-Eleven).
App Icons and Graphics Icons and Graphics used for computer software or mobile applications serve as distinctive trade marks and are the distinguishing element that potential users identify with a product or service.
Packaging The packaging for a product can often be distinctive in how the product is presented to the customer. The customer associates the packaging with the business and provides a quality value to the product.
Jingles and Sounds Advertising jingles or a unique sound associated with your brand (Eg: Windows Start Up) can provide an association with your business, products and services.
Shapes and Colours Overall shape of a product or packaging (Eg: Coca-Cola bottle) or a particular colour associated with your brand, in your industry (Eg: Cadbury purple).
Apparatus, Assemblies, Devices, Tools & Widgets New and inventive machines, apparatus, assemblies, devices and widgets can be protected. Often the method of use or manufacture can be also protected to broaden the scope of protection.
Methods and Processes Chemical and biological processes can be protected. Business methods may be protectable depending on tangible effect provided by the method. Methods and processes where a new result is produced can be considered for patent protection.
Computer Systems Computer hardware and software, functionality associated to produce a new result can often be protected by a patent.
Kits and Parts Kits containing multiple separate components which can be protected. Component parts can be protected often as a subgroup of an apparatus or assembly. It is important to consider patent protection for parts which are a key components of a more complex apparatus or device. A part can also be subject matter for a design.
Synthesized Chemicals and Biologicals Novel compounds, chemical processes (particularly commercial scale processes), purified biologicals, modified biologicals, new biological processes are protectable.
Products Products that have a unique appearance but may not provide a new function. (Eg: The particular shape of a chair) can be protected by design registration.
Extrusions Plastic or metal extrusions can be protected. (Eg: Housing guttering, shaped conduit, window and door framing).
Key Proprietary Components Key components that have a specific shape to fit within a device or apparatus to enable the operation or utility of a device or apparatus can be subject matter for a design. (Eg: The shape of a mating socket for an electrical connection).
2D Products Products that have unique pattern or ornamentation can be protected by designs. By way of example, wallpaper patterns, wrapping paper, cartoon characters on bed sheets can be protected with a registered design.
Plants, Industry Specifics and more Different industries such as services relating to plants or wine have unique requirements. With plants, Plant Breeder Rights (PBR) need to be considered. With wine, the Geographical Indications Act must be taken into account.

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