Policy ID: 
Issue summary: 

Currently, section 19 of the Designs Act 2003 lists the factors to be considered in assessing whether a design is substantially similar in overall impression to another design. However, two different approaches to determining who satisfies this standard have emerged in Australian case law which has led to uncertainty and increased costs for stakeholders and in design litigation.

Amendment of section 19 may clarify the ambiguity and ensure more predictability for examination of designs.


Policy Development 04-Sept-2017

Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019

Policy Development 20-Dec-2019 to 12-May-2020

Legislative drafting 12-May-2020 to 23-Jul-2020

Consultation 23-Jul-2020 to 28-Aug-2020


We are currently consulting on an exposure draft of the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 and the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Regulations 2020 along with the accompanying draft Explanatory Memorandum and draft Explanatory Statement. Consultation closes on 28 August 2020.

We conducted a public consultation from 31 October to 20 December 2019 on policy issues being considered for inclusion in a Designs Bill in 2020. 
IP Australia has published the submissions received during consultation along with our response to those submissions.
The part of this proposal relating to the standard of the informed user will be progressed in the 2020 Designs Bill. Our reasoning can be found in our response to the consultation.

If you wish to provide us with further feedback on the other aspects of 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).