Forthcoming Changes to UK Design Law
July 15, 2014
This is the first of a five part series looking at the effect of the Intellectual Property Act 2014 on design law in the UK. In this first part we provide an overview of the changes, some of which will come into force in October this year.
This is the first of a five part series looking at the effect of the Intellectual Property Act 2014 on design law. In this first part we provide an overview of the changes, and in subsequent parts we shall consider the respective changes in detail.
Overview of changes which come into force in October 2014
The owner of the UK design right in a product resulting from a commission will now be the designer rather than the person who commissioned the work. This brings the ownership provisions in UK design law into line with existing provisions in European design law.
Prior use of a design
The holder of a UK registered design will not now be able to take action against a person who had in good faith used the design, or made serious and effective preparations to do so, before the registration of the design. Again, equivalent provisions in European design law already exist.
The intentional copying of a registered design will now be a criminal offence.
Other changes happening in October 2014
These include amendment of the rules for determining if the owner of a design “qualifies” for unregistered design right in the UK, and narrowing of the definition of a design so that unregistered design right should no longer protect trivial aspects of an article.
Future changes to the law expected to come into force by the end of 2015
These include the creation of an impartial, non-binding opinions service, and the UK joining the Hague international design registration system in its own right. In part two of this series we shall consider the implications of the design ownership changes.
If you have any questions concerning the above changes to design law, please get in touch with your usual contact at Swindell & Pearson Ltd or Simon Foster at [email protected]. Simon is based in the East Midlands, at our head office in Derby.