7.1. Classification: overview

Date Published

Key legislation in this topic:

Key related topics: Prior art base, Product name

An application for registration must contain enough information to allow us to classify the design accurately. When we are classifying a product, we look for a group – or class – of items that have a similar function or purpose.

The reason for sorting products into classes is to make it easier to search the prior art base to find out if there are any pre-existing designs that are the same or similar to the one in the application. If a design has not been classified correctly, it will be difficult to conduct an effective examination search later on.

The Australian Design Search is based on the International Classification For Industrial Designs, also known as the Locarno Classification.

IP Australia is not the only body to use the Australian classification system to search – members of the public, legal representatives and overseas design offices also search based on this system, so it is important that we get it right.

When an owner submits an application, they must include a clear description of the product that bears the design, including its nature, function or purpose. If they do not give enough information, we will ask them to provide it.

See Finding the right class for guidance on how to classify a product correctly.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Link correction to made to the Australian Design Search

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