Allow trusts to be entered into the Designs Register where legal personality is established

At a glance

Policy ID: 94

Status: Closed

Priority: No priority assigned

Design rights

Issue summary

Section 117 of the Designs Act prohibits trusts being entered in the Register, as such, trustees are unable to apply for a design right.

This prohibition isn't aligned with the Trade Marks Act and Plant Breeders Rights Act. Both of which don't include a provision specifically prohibiting the entering of trust information in the Register. However, section 188 of the Patents Act excludes trusts being entered in the Register. There isn't alignment among the four IP rights on the matter of trusts owning an IP Rights and there may be good policy reasons to keep the current arrangements.


  • On hold 8 August 2019
  • Closed 5 December 2022


Closed. IP Australia doesn't have evidence of a problem. Trustees can apply for design rights provided they have legal personality. This prohibition merely prevents the trust details being entered on the register of designs.

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