China has been steadily overhauling its IP system for well over a decade. Last week, in the latest development, China joined WIPO’s Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs bringing the total number of countries covered by the Hague System to 94. China is the largest market that remained outside of the Hague System until now. The EU, US, UK and Japan are all already members and the system is increasingly popular: the number of designs applied for
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has launched a call for views on the designs system. It says this will “help us better understand how we can make the most of new opportunities and flexibilities now that we have left the EU, and how new and emerging technologies may impact the design system.” Designs don't just protect three dimensional items. They can also be used to protect GUIs, logos, graphical symbols and similar. They are increasingly used by many tech compan
In what may be a record for an IP case in the UK, the trial in Lutec (UK) Ltd & Ors v Cascade Holdings Ltd & Anor  EWHC 1907 (Pat) lasted just over an hour. In his judgment published on 9 July 2021, Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found that four registered designs were infringed by two outdoor light fittings, known as the Helios Up Or Down light (Helios U/D) and the Helios Up And Down light (Helios U&D).
The judge attributed the rapid resolution to “thorough prepa
Designs are one of the key IP rights for the gaming and fashion industries but they are complex and consequently poorly understood. There are two key categories of design: registered and unregistered designs. They are best known for protecting three dimensional products but a little known fact is that they can also protect logos and graphical user interfaces. Given the shift to remote and virtual living, protecting digital assets is more important than ever. The European Comm
Brexit may be nearly upon us. If this happens after 29 March there are various short term consequences to registered rights in the UK and EU. You don't necessarily need to refile a UK mark but forewarned is forearmed. Registered EU trade marks All existing EU trade marks will still cover the UK post Brexit but they will change identity. From Brexit day, EU trade marks in the UK will automatically convert into “Comparable Trade Marks (EU)”. No fee is payable and the owners of
Fashion is built on intellectual property rights. The brand is protected by trade marks. The clothing and accessory design by design rights and (maybe) copyright. The advertising and website will include lots of copyright works including photographs and computer code. If you wait too long to think about intellectual property you may find that there is an expensive reckoning waiting for you. This may mean that you need to rebrand or pay a photographer a lot of money down the l
Without intellectual property rights it would be virtually impossible for the European fashion industry to continue. These rights enable a business to compete knowing that it has a legal monopoly which protects the time and money it has invested into the brand. Although the European fashion industry by no means avoids counterfeits and close copies of their products, intellectual property rights enable businesses to protect their products and enforce these rights in all releva