Hero Image

Patent and Design Registration drawings

Published on
Last updated on

The low down on patent drawings and design registration illustrations

Do I need an invention drawing for my patent/registered design?

Patent drawings/illustrations are optional in Australia but are recommended if they can assist to describe your inventions.

But for a Registered design, they are essential.

What is the difference between a registered design and a patent?

Registered design protects, how it looks and a patent protects how it works.

Design Registration covers

  • shape
  • colour
  • configuration
  • pattern
  • ornamentation

Patents protect the way something works or operates, such as a:

  • device
  • substance
  • method
  • process

Example of the difference between a registered design and a patent


Using a Lego brick as an example, a patent would protect the interlocking features of the blocks.

Lego Block Patent

Building blocks, strips, or similar building parts to be assembled without the use of additional elements provided with complementary holes, grooves, or protuberances, e.g. dovetails with primary projections fitting by friction in complementary spaces between secondary projections, e.g. sidewalls

Lego patent

Registered design

Whereas a registered designcould be applied to the visual representation of the iconic Lego character.

Lego Character design registration

It is common for companies to protect their products with patents, registered designs and trademarks for names and logo's.

Further reading about Lego IP protection


Tip: Keep it a secret

It is important to keep your product secret before applying for both a patent and a registered design because if your product is seen on a website even if you own the site, it will be seen as prior art.

We have non disclosure agreements available for download

Tip: Apply for both at the same time

If you apply for a registered design first, then try to apply for a patent. As the design is already registered it will count as prior art. So if you are to apply for both a patent and a registered design, you must do this at the same time.

IP Australia - Patents

IP Australia - Designs

Patent drawing

What are the patent drawing requirements?

  • Drawings must commence on a separate page.
  • Images and drawings must be executed in durable, black, dense, dark, uniformly thick and well defined, lines and strokes without colouring.
  • Greyscale images should not be used as information is lost when scanning them or converting them to black and white.
  • Each drawing or figure should be numbered separately and labelled by a sign to indicate that it is a drawing (see Appendix IV).
  • Drawing pages must be numbered showing the page number and total page numbers for example 1/2, 2/2.
  • Drawings must not be included in the description, claims or abstract.
  • Drawings must not contain a frame surrounding the drawings.
  • A drawing must not include text, other than a word or words necessary to understanding the drawing.

IP Australia - Best practice guide

Check out our patent drawing services

Design Registration

What should a Design Registration drawing include?

Representations should:

  • be clear and of high quality
  • be consistent in style
  • show only one design
  • contain enough different and labelled views to show all aspects of your design
  • show the whole product
  • have a natural background
  • match the additional information in your application.

IP Australia - 6.8. Representations: Drawings

Check out our registered design illustration services