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Tuesday, 31 October 1967


Mr BOWEN (Parramatta) (AttorneyGeneral) - 1 move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill is intended to protect the proprietor of a registered design against the importation of articles to which his design has been applied abroad without his authority. The Designs Act 1906-1966 provides for the registration of designs. The owner of the copyright in a registered design has certain remedies in respect of an infringement of the copyright in bts registered design. Section 30 of the Act provides that it is an infringement for a person, without the authority of the registered owner, to apply a registered design to articles in respect of which it is registered or to sell articles to which the registered design has been applied without the authority of the registered owner.

In June of this year, the question came before the Supreme Court of New South Wales whether it was an infringement to sell imported articles to which a registered design had been applied abroad without the authority of the registered owner in Australia. In that case, Hella-Australia Pty Ltd v. Quinton Hazell (Aust.) Pty Ltd, the Court held that this was not made an infringement by section 30 of the Act. The Court held that the section did not apply to articles to which a registered design had been applied abroad. This decision meant that the Designs Act gives no protection to the proprietor of a registered design against the importation and sale in Australia of goods to which his design has been applied abroad. The present Bill will remedy this defect in the Designs Act.

In addition to the acts which now constitute an infringement of a registered design, the Bill provides that it will be an infringement for a person, without the licence or authority of the registered owner, to import into Australia, for the purposes of sale or for the purposes of any trade or business, articles to which the registered design had been applied abroad without the authority of the registered owner or to sell any such articles.

In my second reading speech on the Copyright Bill on 18th May this year I said that I was proposing to undertake a comprehensive review of the Designs Act.


Mr Whitlam - Is that the review that was promised in August 1954?


Mr BOWEN - That 1 cannot say. The promise that I made was on 18th May this year. I made no promise in 1954. I was otherwise engaged. It has not yet been possible to institute the revision mentioned in my second reading speech on the Copyright Bill - that Bill has not yet been passed through this House - but I intend to proceed wilh the revision as soon as possible. I considered, however, that the situation disclosed by the decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court to which I have referred made it necessary to amend the present Act in the manner now proposed without waiting for that general revision. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitlam) adjourned.







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