In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property recommended that IP Australia consider whether allowing partial product registrations would enhance harmonisation of application requirements. The Government noted the recommendation in May 2016 and committed IP Australia to carry out further consultation.
Currently, registered designs in Australia generally relate to the visual appearance of a whole product. It is possible that allowing partial product protection in Australia would bring the formal requirements of Australian design applications into better alignment with key trading partners, such as the EU, UK and US where such protection is available. It is also possible that allowing partial product protection would facilitate reliance on Australian design applications to provide a priority date under the Paris Convention in other Paris Convention countries.
Policy development 04-Sept-2017
Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019
High priority, due to public interest in improving the Australian designs system, as highlighted in ACIP's report.
Anticipated for inclusion in a Designs Bill in 2020. Public consultation is underway until 20 December 2019.