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 companies but remain a largely untapped IP resource by much of the tech community.
Call for views
The call for views seeks evidence on three main areas: (1) new opportunities, (2) future frameworks and (3) better regulation. It runs for eight weeks, closing on 25 March 2022. You can respond to the call for views on the IPO website here.
The call for views will gather evidence on:
the complexity of the current system, and whether it should be simplified
what impacts post-EU exit changes to disclosure requirements for unregistered designs have had on business, and views on ways to address them.
if the system is flexible enough to protect designs based on new technologies, created for digital environments or using artificial intelligence
the introduction of a deferment provision in UK law and what that should look like
designers’ experience of enforcing their rights and changes they would like to see
Survey for non-IP specialists
The IPO has also published a survey on designs aimed at non-IP specialists, which closes on 7 February 2022.
This is an important opportunity to help shape the future of design protection in the UK. Design rights (registered and unregistered) are vital for businesses in industries as diverse as fashion, furniture and gaming.
Following Brexit, the UK has an opportunity to make changes to benefit designers so it will be very interesting to see what proposals emerge from this process.