Registered Designs

At Origin, we help our clients protect their product designs throughout the world, either with or without patent protection.

In our experience, a registered design protection is a particularly useful defence against counterfeiters.

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Registered Designs: Protecting your Product Design

The scope of what is protectable by a registered design is very broad,. It covers virtual products such as icons and logos, through to visible component parts and functional components, as long as the design is not dictated solely by the technical function of the component.

“Our attorneys have extensive experience in protecting the appearance of products, packaging, graphics and artistic works in a wide range of industries.”

Origin also have experience offering strategic advice to product manufacturers and industrial-design companies.

We have advised our clients on design matters across a substantial range of fields, including: 

  • Software And App Interfaces
  • Products And Patterns
  • Building And Construction Products
  • Logos
  • Packaging
  • Farming Devices
  • Tools
  • Vehicles And Vehicle Parts
  • Garden Related Products
  • Toy Products
  • DIY Products
  • Fashion Clothing
  • Sports Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Perfume Containers And Bottles
  • Household Products And Jewellery.
Engineer inspecting circuit board

“Origin are very pragmatic and focus on what they think is the best commercial outcome. They are always upfront about the expected costs and timeframes, and they go on to meet these targets. I always feel their fees represent the work they have done.”

Dr Roslyn Murray, Patent IP Manager | waikatolink

IT Manager concerned with protecting IP discussing with colleague

Our Registered Design Specialties

Origin specialise in:

  • Obtaining design protection in New Zealand, Australia, the USA and internationally

  • Managing global design portfolios

  • Advising on design infringement, third party conflicts and counterfeit products

  • Design assessment, clearance and auditing

  • Design assignments and licensing

  • Design watching services

  • Ownership provisions in contracts for the supply of design services

  • New Zealand and Australian design law

“All of our patent attorneys are registered to practice in both New Zealand and Australia. We provide services in both jurisdictions on behalf of local client and foreign agents.”

More about Patents


Origin provide a wide range of services to individuals and businesses related to registered design:

Design Creation and Development

This is the initial step where a designer or creator develops a new and original design for a product. This design can encompass the visual appearance, shape, ornamentation, or configuration of the product.

Design Registration Application

Once a unique design is developed, an application for design registration must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). The application should include detailed drawings or representations of the design, along with the necessary forms and fees.

Examination and Formalities Check

IPONZ will examine the design application to ensure it meets the formal requirements and that the design is eligible for registration. They may also check if the design is not contrary to public policy.

Opposition Proceedings

If someone opposes the registration of the design, there may be opposition proceedings where arguments and evidence are presented by both parties. IPONZ will make a decision based on the merits of the case.

Maintenance and Renewal

Registered designs have a limited term of protection (usually 5 years in New Zealand, renewable for up to 15 years). The owner must pay renewal fees to maintain the registration beyond the initial term.


It’s essential to maintain proper records of the registration, renewal, and any licensing agreements related to the registered design.

Design Search and Evaluation

Before proceeding with registration, it’s important to conduct a design search to ensure that the proposed design is unique and not already registered by someone else. This helps in avoiding potential conflicts and rejections during the registration process.


Once the design application is accepted, it will be published in the New Zealand Intellectual Property Journal. This allows interested parties to review the design and potentially oppose its registration if they believe it infringes on their rights or is not eligible for registration.

Licensing and Commercialization

Owners of registered designs can license their designs to others for use in exchange for royalties or fees. They can also use the registered design to promote and commercialize their products.


If there are no oppositions or if the oppositions are unsuccessful, the design will be registered, and the owner will receive a certificate of registration. This certificate provides exclusive rights to use, license, or sell the registered design for a specific period.


The owner of a registered design has the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing products that incorporate the registered design without permission. If there is infringement, the owner can take legal action to protect their rights.

Monitoring and Protection

Continuously monitor the market for potential infringements of the registered design and take appropriate legal action if necessary to protect your rights.