In the June edition, we reported that application and renewal fees for UK registered designs were to be reduced resulting in significant savings for organisations looking for UK registered design protection. It has now been announced that the fee reductions will apply from 1 October 2016.

As previously reported, the fee reductions will be substantial. Filing fees will be based on the number of applications filed; the more applications, the greater the saving. Businesses will, for the first time, be able to file up to ten designs for a single fee of £70 (currently £420) and up to 20 designs for a single fee of £90 (currently £820). Businesses are advised to bulk file to make the greatest cost savings. One of the lessons to be learned from the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Trunki case (also reported in the June edition) is that filing simultaneous multiple applications, perhaps covering notable individual parts of the design or using different forms of representation of the design, is key to obtaining the widest possible protection. The new reduced upfront costs will make filing multiple applications possible, allowing designers to really maximise their registered design protection. 

Overall, renewal fees will be reduced, with the biggest savings made in the third and final renewal periods. For example, the renewal fee payable at the end of year 15 will be £110 compared with the current £310 (a 64% reduction). At year 20, the fee will be £140 instead of the current £450 (a 69% saving). Overall, the total renewal fees for a full 25 year term will be reduced by 63% from £1,100 to £410. This will make it more affordable for designers to maintain their registration for the full 25 year term.