Policy ID: 
In Parliament
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

Legislative drafting 28-Aug-2020 to 02-Dec-2020

In Parliament 02-Dec-2020


From 23 July to 28 August 2020 IP Australia consulted on an exposure draft of the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 (Designs Bill) and the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Regulations 2020 along with the accompanying draft explanatory memorandum and draft explanatory statement.

The submitted responses and our response have been published on our Consultation Hub.

The Designs Bill aims to deliver early benefits to designers as part of a broad range of design reforms and initiatives being undertaken by IP Australia.

Further initiatives are being considered under the Designs Reform Project which is founded on a holistic review of the design ecosystem and its impact on the Australian economy. We will continue to engage with stakeholders on this work.

Prior to the consultation on the exposure draft of the Designs Bill, we conducted a public consultation from 31 October to 20 December 2019 on the policy issues being considered for inclusion in the Designs Bill.

The submissions received during that consultation along with our response to those submissions are also available on our Consultation Hub.

As a result of our 2019 consultation, only the part of this proposal relating to the standard of the informed user will be progressed in the Designs Bill. Our reasoning can be found in our response to the consultation.

The Designs Bill was introduced into the Senate on 2 December 2020. The Bill is currently before Parliament for consideration.

If you wish to provide us with further feedback on the other aspects of this issue, we invite you to use the form below.