1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Designs Law and Practice

Designs Law and Practice (LAWS70261)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70261
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Design plays a critical role in the production and marketing of goods. Adequate protection of designs is important in order to encourage the creation of innovative products and thus enhance the Australian economy. This subject is primarily concerned with the laws in Australia that protect designs and will cover the registered regimes for protecting designs under the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) and parts of the Designs Act 1906 (Cth), as well as the protection of designs as original artistic works under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The first lecturer is a well-known intellectual property law academic and former barrister, while the second is a senior patent attorney with extensive experience in designs law and practice. This subject meets the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB) requirements for ‘Topic Group I: Designs Law’. It will also include coverage of the relevant aspects of the laws of New Zealand on these matters.

Principal topics include:

  • Registrable designs: definition of design and registrability requirements
  • Application and registration procedures and Designs Office practice
  • Duration of registration and removal procedures
  • Registration, examination, certification and infringement
  • Defences to, and remedies for, infringement
  • Validity and infringement of designs registered under the Designs Act 1906 (Cth)
  • Ownership, transfer and exploitation of design rights
  • Rectification and correction of the Register
  • Artistic works protected by copyright and the designs/copyright overlap
  • Relationship of designs protection to innovation patents under the Patents Act 1990
  • The treatment of registered designs under New Zealand law and the availability of copyright protection for designs under New Zealand law
  • International conventions and the protection of designs.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the principles of Australian and New Zealand law relating to the protection of industrial designs, both under the registered designs system and the law of artistic copyright, including issues of practice and recent developments in this field of law
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal rules
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, including issues of registrability, the scope of registered design protection, and the designs-copyright overlap
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving governmental and parliamentary revision of the legal framework in this field
  • Have a sound understanding of situations in which issues of the legal protection of industrial designs arise in the context of dealings with clients
  • Have an appreciation of the complexity of the legal regimes relating to the protection of industrial designs in an international and comparative context
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the protection of the industrial designs of clients and to critically evaluate existing legal principles and practice issues in an independent and creative fashion
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to designs law and practice
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding the protection of industrial designs to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences, including clients
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of industrial designs law and practice.

Last updated: 13 September 2019