Last updated: 
30 October 2019

In recent years, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the designs system and whether it is meeting its original policy objectives. IP Australia is taking action to ensure the Australian designs system is fit for purpose and supports the Australian economy now and in the future.

IP Australia has begun a two-phase approach to designs reform. The first (Implementation of accepted ACIP recommendations) aims to deliver early benefits by addressing issues we already know need to be fixed, with changes introduced in 2020. The second phase (the Designs Review Project) is a longer-term holistic review of the designs ecosystem, to better understand what drives design innovation and what changes may be needed to realise greater benefits to the Australian economy.

Further information on IP Australia’s design initiatives is available below.

Implementation of accepted ACIP recommendations

In 2016, the Australian Government accepted the majority of ACIP’s recommendations of its review into the operation and effectiveness of the Designs Act 2003 in supporting innovation. IP Australia intends to publish consultation papers with some specific reform proposals (including a grace period) shortly.

Find out more here .

The Designs Review Project

The Designs Review Project is a holistic review considering broad and longer term reforms. Research undertaken by IP Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist and the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA) indicates that the Australia’s designs system may be underperforming in comparison to other advanced economies. Recent stakeholder comments have supported this view.

Find out more here.

Other things we’ve done in this space…

Australian Designs Search

IP Australia has released a new Australian Design Search. The new system has made it simpler and easier to search designs in Australia.

Try Australian Design Search now.

The Hague Agreement

The Hague Agreement allows designers to file into multiple territories through a single application. IP Australia released an economic analysis which explores the costs and benefits to Australia of joining the Hague Agreement. 

Find out more here.