What is a dispute?
A dispute is a formal challenge against a design right. Anyone can dispute its registration if they think it isn't valid.
What are the common reasons for a dispute?
Someone believes the:
- Design isn't new and distinctive compared to ones that already exist
- Applicant isn't the true owner of the design
- Applicant wasn't entitled to apply for the design right.
When can it be disputed?
At any point, including:
- After details of the design have been filed in the Australian Official Journal of Designs
- After the design has been registered in the Australian Official Journal of Designs.
For example, when someone thinks that relevant evidence wasn't made apparent during the assessment process.
What happens next?
If someone believes your design is invalid, they dispute it by:
- Submitting a request
- Include documents, circumstances, general knowledge and evidence to support their argument
- We'll share a copy of the dispute and related details with you.
You decide if you want to defend against it.
How do I defend myself against the dispute?
We resolve design right disputes by:
- Examining the design right
- Allowing you to present evidence
- Holding a hearing.
Either party can request examination or a hearing.
If you decide to defend against the dispute:
- Both parties will need to assemble evidence, documentation and arguments
- Evidence will be shared with the other party
- Either side can drop the dispute or continue with a written or oral hearing
- If you want to attend the hearing, you'll need to pay a fee
- You'll be asked to make a submission to argue your case at the hearing
- The hearing officer will evaluate all evidence and submissions and make a decision.
If you decide not to take part in any of the resolution process:
- The dispute may continue without you
- Your design right might cease.
If the dispute is successful, your design right may be:
- Submitted in someone else's name.
If the dispute isn't successful:
- Your design right application may continue to registration or the registration remains valid
- We may issue a certificate of examination to you.
Evidence in oppositions