Improving IP protections for Australian designers

Legislation introduced by the Morrison Government to improve intellectual property (IP) protections for Australian designers has today been passed by the Federal Parliament. 

The Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill will improve confidence and certainty to invest in design innovation, while also cutting red tape by delivering a simplified design registration process.

The legislation provides a grace period for designers who release their design before applying for design protection. They will now have up to 12 months between publishing and filing an application, bringing Australia’s protections into line with other countries.

The changes will also now allow Australian businesses who have licensed exclusive rights for a design to bring infringement action, without needing to rely on the owner. This will ensure our local businesses can more effectively enforce their rights, and brings the designs system into line with the patents and trademarks systems.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter said the bill was an important improvement to the Australia’s design industry framework. 

“We know Australia has some of the best and brightest minds, and this legislation will help ensure designers have the best protections when it come to their designs,” Minister Porter said. 

“The legislation also streamlines the design registration process to save designers time and hassle by making certain parts of the process automatic.”

The legislation follows significant consultation by IP Australia with designers, industry groups, IP practitioners and follows recommendations from the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property’s review of the designs system.