25.3. Ownership disputes: Disputes where a non-applicant claims ownership

Date Published

These disputes arise when someone other than the applicant(s) claims to be entitled to register the design, either instead of the applicant(s) or as a joint applicant.

The potential result of this type of dispute is a new or additional applicant for the design. This is not a new application – just a change to the existing application.

The process for dealing with these disputes is the same as for ownership disputes under s 52.

However, as the design application is not open for public inspection, the non-applicant claiming ownership generally does not know what is in the application. They may have a strong suspicion, but without knowing the details it is hard to argue their entitlement to the designs they think are in the application.


Inspection of application documents

If the parties in the dispute agree, they can exchange documents between themselves without involving the Registrar.

If they cannot agree and the Registrar becomes involved, s 61 restricts which unpublished documents can be made available for inspection. This can create serious difficulties for parties (other than design applicants) in an ownership dispute to prepare their evidence.

For details see Production of documents: Access in ownership disputes.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended