The Registered Design Rights system has been amended by the two sets of regulations which both came into effect on 1st October 2006.
These amendments are intended to simplify the process of applying for registered design rights and will hopefully lead to an increased awareness and use of this often neglected category of intellectual property rights protection. The core changes that have been introduced are as follows:
- The examination of new applications on the grounds of novelty and individual character has been abolished. This is designed to make the application process more simple and cost effective.
- A single application can now cover multiple designs for different types of product. This will also result in a reduction of fees in many cases.
- Deferred publication of UK Registered Designs for up to 12 months. This brings the UK system into line with Europe.
- Lapsed designs can be restored if they have lapsed for non-payment of renewal fee;
- Simplification of the Design Rules to simplify application procedure.
These amendments have been designed to make the UK registered designs system cheaper, easier to negotiate and more effective. The result of these changes is that there has never been a better time for businesses of all sizes to consider and seek advice on the possible value and application of registered design rights to their business.