Apply for a design

Apply for a design

Prepare the following before you begin your design application.

To file your design application, simply complete the online application form and pay the prescribed fee.

If you need help with preparing a design application, we recommend that you contact a patent attorney or a lawyer who is familiar with intellectual property law.

Prepare representations

Representations are drawings or pictures that show different views of the articles. For example, perspective, front, back, sides, top and bottom views may be necessary to show the full design features of the article. Each view should include an appropriate view label (that is, the back view should be labelled ‘Back view’, the perspective view should be labelled ‘Perspective view’, and so on).

The representations must be visually clear, of good quality, suitable for reproduction on to an A4 page and in one of the following formats:

  • line drawings (of draftsperson quality) without any written specifications or dimensions
  • photos (with plain backdrop and no other items in the shot except the article).

Save each page of representations as a single digital image file on your computer. You may submit as many pictures as required to represent the design. More than one image, picture or view may be fitted on a page.

For more information, see the representations for designs practice guideline.

Title for the articles

Identify the article to which the design is applied using a suitable common noun (e.g. spoon, yacht etc).  Don’t use trade names or proper nouns.

Statement of Novelty

This is a brief statement regarding what is novel about the design.

A statement of novelty must:

  • include the title/name of the article,
  • identify any of the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation that are novel,
  • refer to the representations.

The statement of novelty should not:

  • specify perceived advantages of the design,
  • include a description of the article, its manufacture or function,

A statement of novelty isn't required for textiles, wallpaper and lace.

Example statements

You may wish to adapt one of the following examples for your Statement of Novelty, by replacing the article example in brackets with the name of your article.

If the article’s design appeal is its three-dimensional shape:

“The design is to be applied to a (blender) and the novelty resides in the features of shape and configuration as shown in the accompanying representations."

“The novelty of the design resides in the features of shape and configuration of a (desk) as shown in the accompanying representations.”

If the article’s design appeal is its decorative features:

“The design is to be applied to a (fork) and the novelty resides in the features of pattern and ornamentation as shown in the accompanying representations."

“The novelty of the design resides in the features of pattern and ornamentation of a (picture frame) as shown in the accompanying representations.”

You can use the free online design search function to view more examples of how designs are represented and described on our design database.

Authorisation of Agent

If the person filing the design application is not the proprietor of the design, a separate electronic authorisation document [PDF, 148 KB](or advice of a general authorisation) will be required, either attached to the online application prior to submission of the application, or filed at a later date. This must be a digital copy of a document that includes the original authorising signature.

Applicant name and address information

If you're the applicant for the design, then supply your details.

If you're applying for a business or someone else, or if several applicants are applying, then have these details ready.

Address for service in New Zealand or Australia

Every application must have a service address in New Zealand or Australia. This can be a business or residential address, post office box or document exchange box in New Zealand or Australia.

In order to maintain an address for service in New Zealand or Australia, please visit the Maintain Client section from your Inbox.

Application process

To manage your intellectual property via our website, you need to be a registered user. This gives you access to our case management facility. There are no joining or maintenance fees. See become a registered user.

To apply for a design online:

  1. Log in to our case management facility. You'll be taken to your inbox.
  2. From the left hand-side menu, select Design and then Apply for a Design.
  3. Fill in all required fields (marked with an asterisk). If you need help, hold the cursor over the chosen field and a help dialogue box will display.

Note: To save an incomplete application, select Save at the bottom right corner of the page. Saved applications are not submitted, but saving an application will allow you to complete this at a later time.

Saved applications that have not been completed will be kept for 90 days, after which they will be deleted automatically from the system.

Fill in the application form

Your Reference
Enter anything that helps you identify the application. Use a different reference for each application.

If you're acting in your own right:

  • your IPONZ user account details will display in the Applicant field
  • select Edit to change these details.

If you're acting as an Agent:

Your Agent’s details are uploaded from your user account and the Applicant can be searched and selected from a list of clients.

Convention Type
If you're claiming an earlier filing date based on an overseas application, enter the details of the overseas application:

  1. Select Convention from the drop-down box.
  2. Select Add and complete the convention priority fields including Priority Date and Country.
  3. Select Continue to confirm the request for convention priority.

Based design
If you're applying for a new design, don't change the default option New Design, not based on any prior Designs.

If your application is a modification of an existing design, or is the same design applied to different articles, select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu. Search for the existing design to link it to this application, and describe how your design relates to the original in the Description field.

Deferred Month(s)
If you wish to delay the registration of your application, enter a number between 0 and 15 to indicate the number of months you'd like the registration delayed. The delay will begin from the New Zealand filing date of the application.

Submit a set of representations for which your design registration should apply. To add article(s):

  1. Select Add Article.
  2. Select Add in the Pictures field to upload your representations of the design for this article.
  3. Choose Select Files to upload files from your computer.
  4. Select Continue to confirm the addition of the file to your application.
  5. Repeat this process for each article.


  • You may submit as many pictures as required to represent the design. You can select multiple files to upload at one time. More than one image, picture or view may be fitted on a page.
    See representations for designs practice guideline for more details on image standards.
  • Each page of representations must be submitted online as a single image file in JPEG or GIF (PDFs need to be converted to JPEGs or GIFs in order to be filed). Don’t number the pages of representations.
    This free PDF viewer may assist you with uploading separate images for each representation.
  • You can re-order the uploaded images by clicking on any image and dragging it to a new position. Move the cursor over the image to view an enlarged version.

Submit your online application

  1. Check your application thoroughly and make any final changes before submitting it. To save a draft of your application without submitting it, select Save. You can generate a printout of your application by clicking Get PDF Report.
  2. Select Submit when you have completed the application and wish to proceed to payment. Your fee description will be displayed at the bottom of the main application page and on the payment page.
  3. If you have a direct debit facility loaded to your IPONZ user account, choose the Direct Debit option for payment. Otherwise select Credit Card or Internet Banking and complete the payment process.
  4. You'll receive a confirmation email advising that your application has been submitted. A confirmation and summary of the submission of the application will appear in the Discussion section of your IPONZ Inbox.


The first examination report typically takes 15 working days to be issued.

Next steps

To track the progress of a particular application or correspondence you have submitted, log in to our website and view your Inbox.

See the designs examination process for information on what happens after you have applied.