Design by Committee ends in Revocation

Allen Hardware Products Pty Ltd v Tclip Pty Ltd [2008] ADO 8, saw delegate Herald consider an application by Tclip for revocation of certain registered designs in the name of Allen Hardware on the basis of lack of entitlement.

The delegate considered that principles relating to inventorship under the Patents Act should be applied to questions of designership under the Designs Act as “Both involve activities of original creativity. Both involve situations where multiple people can be involved in the creative exercise.”

Having determined that two persons associated with Tclip and also two persons associated with Allen Hardware were all co-designers of the designs in question, the delegate directed that the designs be revoked pursuant to s 52, the original registered owner not being the sole person entitled to the design.

The delegate noted that the parties may wish to apply jointly for new design registrations relying on the provisions of s 54.