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
High priority, due to public interest in improving the Australian designs system.
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.