28.1. Hearings: overview

Date Published

Key legislation in this topic: Designs Act: 148; Designs Regulations reg 11.22 

Key related topics: Ownership disputes, Assessing newness and distinctiveness, Amendments

Parties are entitled to dispute the actions we propose to take. Disputes over designs may occur either before or after a design is registered.

Most design disputes are about:

Most disputes are resolved through the filing of evidence and then a hearing. Evidence must be in the form of a declaration (reg 11.26(1)).

Under s 148 and reg 11.22 the Registrar must give a person an opportunity to be heard before exercising any discretionary power adversely to that person.


The Registrar has powers to award costs in proceedings. Costs are typically awarded against the unsuccessful party.


There are fees for requesting a hearing. See Hearing fees for details.

Ownership disputes

Hearings about who owns the design are discussed in Ownership disputes.

Withdrawal from proceedings

Either party can withdraw from proceedings at any time before the decision has been issued. Even if a party withdraws, it is possible in some circumstances for costs to be awarded.


Either party may appeal (or in some instances seek a review of) a hearing decision.

For most matters, notice of appeal may be filed in the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court within 21 days of the decision. For some matters, an application for review of the decision may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days of the decision.

In either case, when issuing the decision the delegate will inform each party of their right to appeal or seek review.

Corrections to the Register

See Other types of amendments for information on proposals to correct the Register.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended