Currently, registration of a design occurs following a formalities check and substantive examination occurs only on request. If the design is found to have met the substantive requirements of the Act it will be certified and only then is it enforceable.
However, a person unfamiliar with the system may assume that a registered design will provide an enforceable right. This may lead to disappointment or frustration with the Australian designs system, particularly if third parties believe a registered design to be enforceable when it is not.
In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that the terminology for a registered but uncertified design be changed to make it clear that the design is not enforceable until certified. The government accepted the recommendation in May 2016.
Policy development 04-Sept-2017
Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019
Policy Development 20-Dec-2019
High priority, due to public interest in improving the Australian designs system, as highlighted in ACIP's report.
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. Consultation is now closed and IP Australia is considering all submissions received.
IP Australia is also undertaking a more holistic review of the designs ecosystem, as part of the Designs Review Project.