To copyright protect a design, you would usually apply for a design registration. A design registration helps protect the appearance of a product, such as its shape or pattern. Registering your design makes it easier to prove:
- that the design is legally yours
- when you created it.
This will help if anyone tries to copy or use your design without your permission.
A design registration lasts for 5 years. You must renew your design registration every 5 years to keep it protected but up to a maximum of 25 years.
What you can register
Your design of something must be new and can include one or more of the following:
- a physical shape
- configuration (or how different parts of a design are arranged together)
- decoration or colour
- a pattern.
What you cannot register
You cannot register:
- offensive material, for example swear words or pornographic images
- designs making use of national flags you do not have permission to use
- designs making use of official emblems or hallmarks, for example the Olympic rings or coats of arms
- the functionality of a design, for example a chair that folds down more quickly than others of the same kind.