27.1. Publication and file access: overview

Date Published

Key legislation in this topic: Designs Act: ss 25, 60, 108, 109, 136; Designs Regulations: regs 3.04, 4.02

Key related topics: Excluded designs, Application for registration

Before a design is registered or published, documents on the file are not publicly available. Certain information about the design is publicly available:

Once the design is registered or published, further information is publicly available, including:

The default position is that everything on the file is publicly available after registration or publication. This includes all file notes, annotations or other material that an examiner or other staff member places on file, regardless of content.

However, there are limited exceptions. Those exceptions relate to:

  • a design application that contains more than one design (including further designs) which has been amended to exclude, withdraw or not register or publish design(s) (s 60(4))
  • legal reasons to keep some documents confidential (s 60(2)).

Information about the design is published in the Australian Official Journal of Designs under s 25 and reg 3.04. In addition, information is published on the Australian Design Search (ADS) database (s 60(1)).

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended