Chapter 8. Section 43

Date Published


8.1  Introduction

Section 43 of the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) states that the registrar must refuse to register certain designs. Regulation 4.06 lists the classes of designs which are not registrable.

See D05 generally for further guidance on the matters mentioned in reg. 4.06.




8.2  Designs which must not be Registered

The following are designs which the Registrar must refuse to register:

a. Medals (see also D05.3);

b. designs which contain the word “ANZAC” (see also D05.4);

c. designs which are prohibited under the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981. For example, any design that is capable of misleading a person into believing that the design is current paper money or Australian prescribed security.  This prohibition does not extend to coins (see also D05.5);

d. a design which is, or might reasonably be taken to be scandalous (see also 8.3 and D05.6);

e. the Arms or a flag or seal of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory (see also D05.7);

f. the Arms or emblems of:

a. A State or Territory

b. A city or town in the Commonwealth

c. A public authority of public institution in Australia (see also D05.7); and

g. the armorial bearings, flags, State emblems or other signs of another country (see also D05.7);

h. a design which is prohibited under the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987 (see also D05.1);

i. a design for an integrated circuit (see also c); and

j. a design which is subject to a prohibition order under s108 of the Designs Act.




8.3  Scandalous designs

A scandalous design is one which would cause a significant degree of shock or offense. The design may be defamatory or offensive to the public or an individual’s sense of propriety or morality. Please see D05.6 for further guidance on this issue.  If in doubt as to whether a design is scandalous, guidance should be sought from TMDG Quality & Practice. If considered scandalous, a formalities deficiency notice will be sent to the applicant on that basis.




8.4  Integrated Circuit (Microchip) or part of an Integrated Circuit or a mask used for an Integrated Circuit

Designs of integrated circuits or microchips within the meaning of the Circuits Layouts Act 1989 (Cth) are protected under that Act and therefore are not considered to be registrable under the Designs Act.

This exclusion does not apply to circuit board layouts.