Hotting up still locked down: Spare parts and registered designs in Australia
Designers of cars, parts and other complex products should consider registering the designs of the overall product, as well as the replaceable parts like bumper bars, spoilers and skirts, to control the way in which their spares are used. A recent Federal Court decision confirmed that using spares for hotting up a vehicle is still an infringement of a registered design, whereas use of the part for replacement is not.
This policy was introduced to Australia with the latest Designs Act to reduce the costs of smash repairs.
Foundry’s article on the case has been published in the most recent Lexis Nexis Australian Intellectual Property Law Bulletin, (2019) 32(2) IPLB 18. Petrolheads will easily find the energy to get all the way to the end of the article, and perhaps even the long judgement, since it involves deep discussions of an iconic brand of Australian motoring, the HSV VE Commodore. Pictures of grilles, skirts and modified bonnets included.
Filing multiple registered designs (design patents) can be done strategically, using a staged approach which delays and reduces the costs associated with investing in this important monopoly right. Get in touch with us to discuss.
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Photo cred: stefanrodriguez.com using Unsplash licence.