The Cost of UK Registered Designs Comes Down
October 03, 2016
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has reduced registered design fees from 1st October 2016. The fee reductions are part of the UK government’s drive to encourage the filing of registered design applications, and follow the recent introduction of online filing.
The reduced fees will make it significantly cheaper to file registered design applications that cover multiple aspects of a product as separate designs, thus allowing broad protection to be achieved for a particular product with lower costs.
Applicants would therefore be able to file separate applications, for instance, to different variations of a product, without costs quickly building up as was previously the case. This is particularly important since the protection afforded by a registered design often covers only designs which have the same or a closely similar appearance.
A case in point is the Supreme Court’s decision that a registered design of a ground breaking children’s ride-on suitcase, called the Trunki Case, was not infringed by a rival similar product called the Kiddee Case. In the decision, which we wrote about here, infringement was not found because the Kiddee Case was considered to provide a visually different overall impression than the design registration in view of a small number of differences in the Kiddee Case compared to the registered design.
It is widely held that these differences could have been covered by filing multiple design applications directed to variations and different features of the product such that at least one of the designs registrations could then have been infringed by the Kiddee Case.
There is therefore the opportunity to provide relatively broad protection for the design of an article by filing multiple design applications directed to different features of or variations of the design. If you wish to protect a design we would suggest that professional assistance is sought to seek broadest possible protection under their design system.
Renewal fees are also being significantly reduced, so it will be cheaper to maintain UK registered designs for their full 25 year term.
Swindell & Pearson is a UK based intellectual property firm that has been helping businesses and individuals protect and defend their ideas, innovations and brands for over 135 years. With its head office in Derby, the firm also has offices in Stoke, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Sheffield and Burton upon Trent. To find out how Swindell & Pearson can help you and your business with any patent, trade mark or design right matters please get in touch via [email protected] or by telephone on 01332 367 051.