Design Regulations And Ensuring Your Product Meets Them

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Design Regulations And Ensuring Your Product Meets Them

As industrial designers, we know that there is a lot of “magic” and excitement when production for a new design kicks off. Each step takes you closer to the final product; however, you cannot get over that final step of product excellence if your design doesn’t meet the necessary regulations.

So, what does it take for a product to be compliant and to be in line with Australian standards? Here are some points to consider:

  1. Does your design comply with Standards Australia?

According to the Standards Australia website“Standards are voluntary documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable. 

They cover a variety of subjects, including consumer products and services, the environment, construction, energy and water utilities, and more.”

The site further notes that, “Standards mean better value for all. They ensure the quality and consistency of products and services, giving businesses and consumers greater peace of mind. They also benefit the economy, improve health and safety, protect our natural resources, and improve our quality of life.”

There are also 6 big benefits that designers receive when they comply with Standards Australia, such as:

  • Boosting confidence that your designs are on par with regulations.
  • More innovation as standards are updated.
  • Designing products that are competitive.
  • Opportunity for international trade.
  • Less red tape
  • Compliance will help your business to grow and thrive.


It is clear: adhering to Standards Australia guidelines will ensure your design meets design regulations, which is why it is so important to familiarise yourself with the details!

  1. Do you know your design rights?

A design right, as defined by IP Australia, “protects the overall visual appearance of new and distinctive products.”

Furthermore, a design right guards the visual appearance of physical products that are manufactured or handmade, and that are created commercially.

However, there are some instances where design rights are not applicable, such as medals, some coats of arms and banknotes, to name a few.

  1. Can you design be protected by a design right?

A design right only protects the visual appearance of a new product. It will need to have a physical form and be produced on a commercial scale. Having said that, you need to consider that some aspects of your design process cannot be protected, such as your production process or how your design functions.

For your design to be protected through registration and certification, it needs to be brand-new and not similar to an already existing design. There is another important aspect to consider, though: Australian registered design rights have a maximum life span of 10 years. However, if you choose to trademark as design, your protection can last indefinitely.

Worth the effort to be compliant

Remember how we mentioned in our previous blog on Dieter Rams’ design principles that good design is thorough down to the last detail? Meeting regulations and being compliant ensure that you provide a product that hasn’t skimped on legal requirements or rules. It is a vital step of industrial design and one that good industrial designers always envision as part of their projects – just like we do!

At Moss&Schmidt, we are dedicated to designing products that are compliant and that meet regulations. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about our design processes.