6.5. Representations: Consistency

Date Published

Consistent content

If there is more than one representation, all the representations must be consistent with each other. This means:

  • there is nothing in one representation that in not indicated or implied in the others
  • all the representations are at the same scale – i.e. they should all be shown in proper proportion to each other (with the exception of close-ups)
  • all the representations show the identical product. We treat variations as different products.


Consistency with the rest of the application

The representations should show only the design named in the application.

If the representations show more designs than are stated on the application form, we consider the application to contain further designs (reg 1.04).

Often the formalities officer will raise the issues of both inconsistency and further designs in combination.

Consistent format

Generally, the representations should all be in the same format – e.g. all photos, all line drawings, all CAD. Where multiple image formats are used the result must not cause uncertainty about what is the design for which the applicant has applied.

Using a single format minimises the risk that the representations show further designs. Combining formats almost always makes the representations inconsistent and therefore unacceptable because they effectively show different designs.

For example, a line drawing is not considered to be limited by a colour or colours (included as a visual feature of the design being applied for), whereas the colour of the product in a colour photo is considered to be a visual design feature. On this basis, the 2 representations would not show the same design. Representations must be consistent in their use of colour.

The same applies if the same visual features are shown in solid lines in one drawing and dotted lines in another drawing: we consider the representations to show different designs.

Representations that combine line drawings and greyscale drawings may be acceptable if it is clear that the greyscale is used as shading and does not indicate colour as a visual feature.

Example of a set of representations with various file formats (photograph and drawings), which is not considered acceptable:

Product name: Chair


Example of a set of acceptable representations with a single format:

Product name: Chair


Extraneous or hidden details

Extraneous details

Representations cannot include extraneous items or information – e.g. other objects, indications of dimension or scale, or statements of what the product is made of. Representation(s) should be limited to clearly showing the product bearing the design and its visual features. For example:

Product name: Confectionary


Not acceptable because measurement information is extraneous.

Acceptable because there is no extraneous information.


Product name: Guitar


​​​​​​​In this example, the image on the right is acceptable because it shows the guitar only. The image on the left is not acceptable because the other musical instruments, furniture etc. are extraneous items.

Best practice is to remove extraneous information from representations. However, there might be instances where this type of information can be retained on the basis that it is minimal in its impact and does not detract from the product being clearly shown or result in any uncertainty as to what is the design being applied for. A common example being a mannequin used to display an item of clothing, the subject of a design application. See Review No 2 v Redberry Enterprises [2008] FCA 1588. An environmental view may also include extraneous information to show the product in the context of its surroundings or environment, as long as the view is labelled as such.

Hidden details

Details that would not be visible in the finished product (e.g. the internal workings of an MP3 player) are also unacceptable.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Formal Requirements Instrument changes

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