IP Australia Talking Design

IP australia illustration by Jackie winter group

Following our participation in the IP Australia stakeholder forum in December, we met with the research team last week to further flesh out issues we felt were yet to be included in the ongoing ACIP review into Australian design systems.

IP Australia Director General Michael Schwager and Chief Economist Ben Mitra-Kahn joined a group of ADA® stakeholders at a fruitful and positive session where we tabled key concerns and drilled down potential solutions surrounding issues around flaws in the current IP protection structure for our sector.

Space Furniture CEO Christina Caredes, SP01 Creative Director Matt Lorrain, Vincent Aeillo and Justin Penhall from Euroluce and Richard Munao and Joshua Ellis from Cult worked strategically with the ADA® to present a broad, detailed discussion that encompassed the most pressing issues faced by the sector in the current climate of sanctioned design theft. The session was led and moderated by ADA® director Anne-Maree Sargeant.

The round table proved to be our most fruitful discussion to date, and we will continue to contribute to the ACIP enquiry ahead of the first stage findings being released in Melbourne on March 17.

We will update our response to the session once the first round of IP Australia research is launched next month at Melbourne Design Week – RSVP to attend here.

ADA round table with IP Australia


Key Outcomes

1.  Economic contribution of the design-intensive sector to Australian job and growth.  

Governments always have to make hard choices and seek the best ‘bang for their buck’, meaning the stronger the economic rationale, the stronger the case for particular government action. Given the economic contribution for the design sector to the Australian economy is yet to be measured, our sector is yet to attain priority when it comes to governmental change.

 2.  The use of “replica” and other such phrases in the market.

We believe using the word REPLICA, enforced by Australian law, is unfair and misleading as it confuses customers and no other industry uses the word to permit knockoffs of original products.  It wasn’t clear whether IP Australia was saying this was something that requires a market education program or if this is a legal issue.

 3.  Technical fixes/improvements to the existing Designs Rights legislation.

IP Australia revealed there will be some short-term gains for our sector and the intent to tidy up the existing legislation and implement the ACIP recommendations some years ago.  Red tape improvements, etc.  The ADA has responded to three issues papers.

 4.  Wholesale reform to recognise design in a similar way to art or writing under copyright (clearly a fundamental change requiring considerable discussion.) IP Australia director Michael Schrager agreed to pledge support for the ADA vision, and noted copyright falls outside their remit.

 5.  Methods for enforcement (when something illegal is happening).

 6.  Broader education and awareness of the design-intensive industries’ value and use of design rights.


Read more // DOWNLOAD – TALKING DESIGN  IP Australia’s findings from their meetings across the sector.

Read about our participation in the IP Australia stakeholder forum last December.

Read more on the ACIP Review into design systems here


AUTHENTIC DESIGN ALLIANCE® Members directly enable our advocacy – please support our campaigns for Australian IP Reform for the design sector by joining the ADA®

Find out more HERE (desktop view) or HERE (device view)


Illustration // Jackie Winter Group (James Hancock) courtesy of IP Australia

ADA round table with IP Australia

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