Australian Design Registration
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On the whole the Australian design system operates on a similar basis to the
EC/UK system. However one crucial difference is the fact that disclosure of the
design prior to registration can defeat the novelty requirement. The only
exception to this is that it is possible to file an EU design up to six months
prior to an application in Australia and by claiming the priority of the EU
application still gain a valid registration in Australia. Nevertheless it is
still important to consider whether you may want to extend protection of your
design to Australia prior to putting the design on the market in the UK/EU. This
is because although under EU design rules it is permissible to test the market
for a period of up to 12 months before applying for registration, if this is
taken advantage of this may again defeat the novelty requirement in Australia.
No substantive examination of whether a design meets the requirements for
registration is undertaken. It is only examined to check the formalities i.e.
the procedural requirements have been fulfilled. Although in contrast to the
EC/UK system there is provision for an applicant to request further examination
on payment of an additional fee.
A design is defined as the overall appearance of a product, visual features
such as the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied
to the product, give it a unique appearance.
Even though examination of compliance with the above requirements does not
form part of the basic registration procedure, it is possible for third parties
to request such an examination or to challenge the validity of a design in
infringement proceedings on the basis of non-compliance with the necessary
requirements. Therefore it is in the applicant’s interest to ensure that its
design conforms to these as far as possible.
The duration of the right is ten years subject to payment of a renewal fee
after the first five years.
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-05-27 21:17:46 in Legal Articles