Last updated: 
2 December 2020

In recent years, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the designs system and whether it is meeting its original policy objectives. IP Australia is progressing a program of designs reform to ensure the Australian designs system is fit for purpose and supports the Australian economy now and in the future.

We are implementing accepted Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommendations and other improvements that will deliver early benefits by addressing issues we already know need to be fixed. The full text of the government’s response to ACIP’s recommendations and ACIP’s report is available at Review of the Designs System.

In parallel, we have been undertaking a holistic review of the design economy and design rights system, investigating further reform measures resulting from 12 months of exploratory research.

Further information on IP Australia’s design initiatives is available below.

1. Implementation of accepted ACIP recommendations

In 2016, the Australian Government accepted the majority of ACIP’s recommendations of its review into the operation and effectiveness of the Designs Act 2003 in supporting innovation. In late 2019, we consulted on specific reform proposals (including a grace period). Our response to this consultation is available.  

Following the 2019 consultation, we consulted on an exposure draft of the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 from July to August 2020. Submissions and our response are now available on our Consultation Hub.  

On 2 December 2020 the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 was introduced into the Senate and is currently before Parliament for consideration. 

Find out more

2. The Designs Review Project

The Designs Review Project is a holistic review of the design ecosystem, to better understand what drives design innovation, the role of design rights and what changes may be needed to realise greater benefits to the Australian economy.

In April 2019 we initiated 12 months of exploratory research into Australia’s design ecosystem. Results from the research are now available in a series of reports.

Find out more.

Also in this space…

Australian Design Search

IP Australia has released a new Australian Design Search. The new system has made it simpler and easier to search designs in Australia.

Try Australian Design Search now