IP Australia seeking public feedback on draft legislation to amend Designs Act

Article  \  24 Jul 2020

As part of an ongoing review of the Australian designs system, IP Australia is seeking public feedback on draft legislation to amend the Designs Act.

A previous review of the Australian designs system by the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended changes to the designs system to enhance its effectiveness. The 2015 report is available here and the Australian Government’s response to that report is available here.  In 2019, IP Australia sought feedback on policy issues that are relevant to the implementation of the ACIP’s recommendations. The discussion documents, together with the submissions made in response to the survey, are available here.

The main features of the new draft legislation are to:

  • provide a 12-month grace period
  • expand the existing limited prior use defence
  • remove the publication option when design applications are filed
  • make registration automatic six months after filing
  • give exclusive licensees legal standing to sue for infringement.


The draft legislation also includes a number of technical improvements to the Designs Act.

We encourage clients and anyone with an interest in the Australian designs system to make a submission before IP Australia’s close of business on 28 August 2020. You can make a submission on IP Australia’s consultation page or by contacting Paul Gardner +61 6283 2145 or Paul.Gardner@ipaustralia.gov.au

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