ACIP Releases Final Report on Australian Designs System
ACIP recommends significant changes to designs law which is only 12-years old...
The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recently released its report on the Australian designs system, which is the first comprehensive review of such law since the implementation of the Designs Act 2003.
Notable recommendations include:
- That the recommended changes be enacted as soon as practicable so as to address anomalies and bring Australian designs law into better alignment with equivalent laws of major trading partners, international treaties and proposed international treaties.
- That Australia should give serious consideration to joining the Hague Agreement and the proposed Designs Law Treaty for the harmonisation of filing requirements.
- Extending the maximum term to 15-years, but only if Australia joins the Hague Agreement.
- Using the term ‘uncertified design’ for designs that have been registered but not certified to make it clearer that the design does not confer enforceable rights until certified.
- Requiring a request for examination of the design by the first renewal deadline (five years).
- Introducing a system of opposition following certification, provided the request for examination recommendation is accepted.
- Reducing the fees payable for each additional design in multiple design applications.
- Having automatic publication at six months after the filing date, with the possibility to request publication earlier if desired.
- Allowing the Statement of Newness and Distinctiveness to be amended, in ways that identify particular visual features of the design as new and distinctive, up to the point of certification.
- Introducing a grace period of six months before the filing date (subject to the filing of a declaration), together with a prior user defence.
- Allowing partial product registrations if there are significant advantages to Australian applicants and that it does not give rise to substantial practical or legal issues overseas.
- Introducing border protection measures that align with the Trade Marks and Copyright Acts (Notice of Objection Schemes) to allow for the seizure by Customs of alleged design infringements which are identical to certified designs.