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.
High priority, due to public interest in improving the Australian designs system.
Anticipated for inclusion in a Designs Bill in 2020. Public consultation is expected to commence later in 2019.