Registered designs can protect a wide variety of products, such as industrial items as well as artistic creations. For example, registered designs are increasingly being used successfully in the fashion world to protect new garments.
Protection can be provided for the design itself irrespective of the product to which it is applied, including features such as lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation.
The appearance and shape of a product is protectable provided it is new and produces a different overall impression to existing products.
Registered design protection does not protect the functionality or solely functional features of the product, which instead can be protected by a patent. It also does not protect features that allow the product to be mechanically connected to, or placed in, around or against another product so that either product may perform its function.