In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property recommended (Recommendation 13(b)) 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
Policy development 20-Dec-2019
On hold 12-May-2020
IP Australia conducted a public consultation from 31 October to 20 December 2019 on policy issues being considered for inclusion in a Designs Bill in 2020, subject to Government priorities.
Following our consultation, this issue will not be progressed at this stage. Our reasoning can be found in our response to the consultation.
If you wish to provide us with further feedback on this issue, we invite you to use the form below.
IP Australia is investigating further reform measures resulting from exploratory research into the design economy (see Design Reform Project).