Accessing Design Protection: The Future of the Registered Design Right in Australia

Michael Campbell | Assistant Director, Designs Reform, IP Australia
Rebecca Giblin | Assoc. Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School

Date: Thursday 12 November, 2020
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Where: Online webinar

IP Australia recently completed a year of research into the Australian design economy. This seminar summarises our key findings and outlines some of the initiatives we are now undertaking in response to those findings, as well as areas open for further exploration. In the short term, we are making changes to improve access to the online filing system and access to information and support to reduce barriers to design protection and commercialisation. Over the longer term, questions around the accessibility of the registered design rights system remain open. We are considering the scope of the design right in response to the question: is the design rights system working effectively for those who could benefit from it? This includes further exploring potential legislative changes such as expanding protection to virtual designs and parts of products, providing protections for designers as they iterate, and removing the two-step examination process in favour of substantive examination of all applications. This seminar provided an early opportunity to present these issues and gather valuable insights and feedback as IP Australia continues to investigate what role design rights can and should play in providing opportunities for businesses to benefit from good ideas.

Michael Campbell is an Assistant Director, Designs Reform at IP Australia and was the research coordinator for the recent designs review. He has a PhD from the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, where he previously worked as a Lecturer and Tutor. His co-authored article ‘Redesigning Designs: the Future of Design Protection in Australia’ appeared in the September 2020 issue of Intellectual Property Forum.

Rebecca Giblin is an Assoc. Professor of Law at Melbourne Law School, ARC Future Fellow and Director, Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA). Rebecca is an expert on copyright, creators’ rights, technology regulation, the regulation of culture. She works collaboratively with data scientists, cultural economists and legal and social scholars to tackle complex problems that no single researcher or field could address alone.