6.1. Representations: overview

Date Published

Key legislation in this topic: Designs Act: s 5; Designs Regulations: reg 4.04, sch 2; for applications filed on or after 10 March 2022, Designs Formal Requirements Instrument.

Key related topics: Identifying the design, Further designs, Assessing newness and distinctiveness, Scandalous content

Representations help the applicant, the public, the Registrar and interested parties to understand the visual features of a design.

In summary, the representations must clearly and consistently show the visual features of the design.

What representations are

Representations are visual illustrations of the design. The design being the overall appearance of a single product. ​​​​​​​

The definition in s 5 of the Designs Act 2003 is:

representation means a drawing, tracing or specimen of a product embodying a design or a photograph of such a drawing, tracing or specimen.

Each application for registration must include a set of representations (any number) that meets the basic requirements set out in sch 2 of the Designs Regulations 2004 where the application was filed before 10 March 2022. For applications made on or after 10 March 2022, the representations must meet the requirements in the Designs Formal Requirements Instrument (see Part 33). 

What representations are for

The representations are a critical element of any design registration. They are the main source of information on the visual features of the design. They also help to identify the product and show its overall appearance. Therefore, properly interpreting the representations is critical to assessing:

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Formal Requirements Instrument updates