Design Amendment Bill 2020 passed through Parliament

Date: 2021-09-02
Author: Daneta Crump

The Bill will now be presented to the Governor General for Royal Assent, which will set the commencement dates for changes to the Designs Act 2003. As reported in our previous article the changes include:

  • Introducing a 12 month grace period for self-disclosure, commencing from the priority date;
  • Providing a presumption that a republication of a design, within the grace period and after publication by the design owner, was derived from the design owner and therefore covered by the grace period;
  • Providing that publications by Design Offices are not covered by the grace period;
  • Introducing a prior-user defence; and
  • Clarifying the validity and infringement tests by defining the standard of the informed user.

Most of the changes will commence 6 months after the date of Royal Assent. However, some amendments to the standard of the informed user and introducing a ground of revocation of a design on the basis of fraud, false suggestion and misrepresentation made during examination, will be implemented the day after Royal Assent.

The introduction of a 12 month grace period will be welcome news to applicants and we look forward to assisting our clients in navigating the changes.