A new Design Opinions Service to be introduced by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

The UKIPO are planning to introduce a new Design Opinions Service*. This service will work in a similar manner to the Patent Opinions Service which is currently available but will instead cover registered and unregistered designs both in the UK and the EU.

Through the Design Opinions Service it will be possible to obtain a non-binding opinion on design validity (i.e. whether rights actually exist in a particular design) and infringement.

The goal of the service is to enable those with limited funds, for example small businesses, to make an informed decision on how to use and enforce their design rights and also how to avoid infringing the rights of others.

The consultation on the proposed rules governing this new service will close on 15 May 2015. We would expect the new service to be introduced shortly after this date.