Review of the Designs System

Review commenced: 01/05/2012

Duration of review: 2012-2014

The current designs system has been in operation since the commencement of the Designs Act 2003 on 17 June 2004. The designs system protects the visual features of a product - including the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to the product, give it a unique appearance.

In recent years a variety of concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of the designs system and whether it is meeting its original policy objectives. The designs system has not been comprehensively reviewed since its commencement in 2004 to assess whether it is effective and appropriate for Australia now and in the future.

In May 2012, the then Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry requested that the ACIP investigate the effectiveness of the designs system in stimulating innovation by Australian users and the impact the designs system has on economic growth.

ACIP would be interested to hear about any opportunities for enhancing the system and any deficiencies and unintended consequences arising from implementing the system.

As part of its investigations, ACIP released an Issues paper in September 2013 to seek views from stakeholders, including users of the designs system. A number of written submissions were received. Public roundtable discussions were held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in October  and Perth in December 2013.

Completion of the review is expected in late 2014 taking account of the following activities:

Research Project / Survey to users and non-users of the designs system February - March 2014
Analysis of survey responses and preparation of Options Paper (if warranted) Ongoing
Options Paper published Release after ACIP Council Meeting in July 2014
Consultation on Options Paper August – September 2014
Final Report and recommendations Presented to government after ACIP Council Meeting in November 2014

Related Documents

Contact Information

Sharon Thomas Secretariat Advisory Council on Intellectual Property PO Box 200 Woden ACT 2606

02 6283 2582
02 6285 1048

Last Updated: 24/01/2014