D05.5 Paper money, securities [reg 4.05(c)]

Date Published

Because of the operation of reg 4.05(c), designs of a kind referred to in s 19(1) of the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Cth) cannot be registered. That section relates to:

'a business or professional card, notice, placard, circular, hand-bill, poster or other material that so resembles current paper money or an Australian prescribed security as to be capable of misleading a person into believing it is that current paper money or that Australian prescribed security.'

Paper money is defined as:

' ... money comprising a note written, printed or otherwise made on paper or any other material.'

and thus includes plastic notes as used in (for example) Australia and New Zealand.

A 'prescribed security' is defined as:

' ... any bond, debenture, stock, stock certificate, treasury bill or other like security, or any coupon, warrant or other document for the payment of money in respect of such a security, issued by the Commonwealth of Australia, by an authority of the Commonwealth of Australia or by, or with the authority of, the government of a country other than Australia.'

Note that while the prohibition in relation to securities is limited to Australian securities, the prohibition against paper money applies to the money of any country. Also, the prohibition does not extend to coins.

The mere fact that a design contains a representation of currency does not trigger this prohibition. The representation must be such that a person could be misled into thinking that the design involved actual money (or security).

It should be noted that there is no prohibition on the registration of designs for coins. However a product that is similar to a coin may fall within the meaning of medal (see D05.3) – and therefore be excluded from registrability. Where a design impliedly entails defacing current coinage, or manufacturing current coinage, any infringement of other legislation [such as the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 (Cth)] is the responsibility of the person undertaking those activities; the manufacture or use of a registered design is always subject to compliance with other legislation.