On 10 March 2022 the Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Act 2022 came into effect.

The purpose of the Act is to provide a more flexible structure for designers during the early stages of securing registered design protection and to streamline the formal requirements for filing a design application.

For design applications filed in Australia on or after 10 March 2022, designers should be aware of the following changes:

  • A 12 month grace period to make an application for protection after publishing or using their design. Note: the grace period only applies to applications filed on or after 10 March 2022 and only to disclosures that occurred on or after 10 March 2022;
  • An infringement exemption for prior use;
  • Automatic registration and publication of the design after 6 months. If you want to register your design earlier than that 6 month date, you can file a request to do so;
  • Relief from  “innocent infringement” before registration;
  • Exclusive licensees can take infringement action;
  • The definition of a “familiar person” has been amended. A “familiar person” is the person from whose perspective the view of similarity of design is assessed;
  • The courts powers to revoke design registrations have been expanded;
  • There is a 6 month grace period for payment of the renewal fee.

Should you wish to read more about these changes you can look at  www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2021A00100 or contact us – as always we are more than happy to assist with any questions and queries you may have around seeking Design protection in Australia.

Written by Sue Ironside; 15 March 2022