Allow exclusive licensee to bring proceedings for infringement under Designs Acts

At a glance

Policy ID: 46

Status: Completed

Priority: High

Design rights ACIP

Issue summary

In its 2015 Review of the Designs System in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended  (Recommendation 18[h]) amendments be made to the Designs Act to give exclusive licensees of designs the right to bring proceedings for infringement of those rights. The government accepted this recommendation in May 2016.

IP legislation treats exclusive licensees of IP rights inconsistently when it comes to the ability to bring proceedings for infringement. In particular, exclusive licensees of patents, trade marks and plant breeder’s rights have the right to bring infringement proceedings under certain conditions. However, exclusive licensees of designs don't have legal standing to bring proceedings for infringement. This can cause problems for exclusive licensees of these rights when the owner of the right is unwilling or unable to enforce their rights, and can complicate licensing negotiations.


  • On hold 4 September 2017
  • Consultation 31 October 2019 to 20 December 2019
  • Policy development 20 December 2019 to 12 May 2020
  • Legislative drafting 12 May 2020 to 23 July 2020
  • Consultation 23 July 2020 to 28 August 2020
  • Legislative drafting 28 August 2020 to 2 December 2020
  • In Parliament 2 December 2020 to 30 August 2021
  • Royal Assent 10 September 2021
  • Completed 10 September 2021


This issue is included in the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Act 2021 which received Royal Assent on 10 September 2021.

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