The Designs Amendment Regulations 2011 have in fact been promulgated . In their final form the most important changes can be summarised as follows:
(i) an abandoned design application or lapsed design registration may now be restorable provided that applications for restoration are made within 3 months of abandonment or within 12 months of lapsing respectively. Any 3rd party opposition to such restoration is required within 2 months of the application being advertised in the Official Journal;
(ii) a 3rd party which made use of the design while the application was abandoned or the registration was lapsed , or made definite steps to do so,has continuing ( but no more extensive) rights to use the design post-restoration .Those ongoing rights, unfortunately in my view ,are more extensive in respect of 3-D design registrations than the same 3rd party will have in respect of any related copyright works, such as drawings or prototypes ,under the Copyright Act 1994, where the right to use the copyright works is extinguished on restoration of the registration. This means that the 3rd party may be protected under the Designs Act for continuing use of of a restored design but not under the Copyright Act;
(iii) an applicant may now request that issuance of the Certificate of Registration is delayed by up to 15 months from the application date;
(iv) the Commissioner of Designs is now empowered to publish the basic details of pending design applications , including their date, number and those details appearing on the application form;
(v) electronic communication between the applicant and the Commissioner of Designs is now permitted."