In the first decision of an Appointed Person under the new appeal regime for designs under the UK Intellectual Property Act 2014, Martin Howe QC upheld the decision that two registered designs were invalid.
The designs in question consisted of a garment where a modified union flag is displayed on the chest. The key argument for invalidity was that suppliers in the London souvenir market had been selling similar designs for years, and certainly prior to the application dates for these registered designs in 2011.
Relying on evidence of prior art from two witness statements and a photograph posted on Facebook in 2010, Martin Howe QC reached the same conclusion as the UKIPO's Hearing Officer; the two registered designs lacked individual character under 1B(1) of the Registered Designs Act 1949. The appeal was dismissed.