Australia’s ongoing economic success depends on our ability to harness technological advances to improve existing businesses, create new products and markets, and enhance daily life. Digital technologies afford opportunities not only for technology-based businesses but also for businesses across all parts of the economy, from agriculture to health.
User interaction with digital technologies is made possible by the creation of new graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and visual elements ('virtual designs'). Innovation in virtual designs underpins the growth of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, augmented reality and virtual reality. These applications promise to transform how we work, travel, communicate and transact with one another.
Formal design rights protection for virtual designs is available in many international jurisdictions. To date, however, Australian legislation has not provided fully-enforceable protection for these designs. This report provides an analysis of the likely Australian demand for such protections.
This report analyses the potential effects of a design right for virtual designs in Australia. The analysis is in five parts:
- A summary of the law and operations of virtual designs under Australian designs law, and the law in certain other jurisdictions that make available protections for virtual designs
- A descriptive analysis of the number of applications
- A list of Australian virtual design rights applicants
- A stratified sample survey of Australian businesses who are operating in relevant markets
- Discussion of key findings and recommendations