Australian Design Patent Statute Amendment

The Designs Amendment Bill 2020 passed both houses in Australia on August 30 and is now waiting Royal Assent.

This bill introduces a 12-month grace period for design patents, bringing it in line with other significant jurisdictions such as the US, Europe and Japan, which already provide the year grace period.

Australia’s previous lack of a grace period meant that any disclosure would show up as prior art and therefore prove fatal to patent applicability in Australia. Now an American designer, for example, would be able to disclose the design in the US, and still apply in Australia within one year.