A registered design application can be defeated if the design for which protection is sought is not new. A design will be deemed to be not new if it has been disclosed to the public. However the Registered Design Act 1949 allows for a 12 month grace period during which the design may be disclosed to the public.
It is therefore vital that all designers make a clear and evidenced note as to when the design was released to the public.
The purpose of such a provision is to allow designers the opportunity to field their design and gauge reaction before deciding whether to protect the design. This encourages innovation and as designers are more likely to launch a product knowing that if it is successful it can be protected.