June 2004 saw the commencement of the Designs Act 2003 which significantly affected how designs are protected and enforced. In 2012 the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) began a review of the Australian designs system, and the Final Report has now been released.
A number of areas have been identified in which ACIP believes the legislation could be improved and has put forth their recommendations on the matter. ACIP were asked to explore how effective the Designs Act 2003 had been in stimulating innovation in Australia and the impact on economic growth.
Among the ACIP recommendations, was the need for increased harmonisation with international practice, which will benefit users and streamline Government administration, as well as revisions of some changes made to the Act and clarification of the law to assist owners and third parties.