IP Australia has developed a new tool called Australian Design Search that provides image searching to the public for design rights.

“IP Australia is focused on using and delivering world-leading technology to help all Australians view and if they choose, apply for intellectual property protection,” says Mechael Schwager, IP Australia’s director general.

“We very much expect Australian Design Search to be one of the best design search tools in the world. This builds on Australian Trade Mark Search, which we launched in 2017.

“The new single search bar will help IP attorneys, designers and small to medium businesses search for Australian designs much more effectively and efficiently.”

Registered designs protect the appearance of a product, for example its shape, pattern or packaging. Protected designs are all around Australia, from KeepCups used for coffee, to Breville sandwich presses and R. M. Williams boots.

Users can search the database with features such as:

  • The ability to search using images, numbers or keywords
  • Customisable reporting and exporting allowing users to easily track and share their results.

Traditionally, checking for similar designs has only been possible using keywords or codes, according to IP Australia.