Who will be affected?
All current and future UK Registered Design holders, who have designs registered with the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), will be affected by the proposed changes.
What is the proposal?
The proposed changes are based on the fee structure (as shown below) and the process of registering a design. You can see that the fee costs are being completely slashed!
|Renewal period in the UK||Current Fee||New Fee (once in force)|
Why are the IPO making these changes?
Due to cutting costs, the IPO want to charge UK Registered Design holders less. The IPO are making changes because they are streamlining the process involved in filing a Registered Design and making it fully digital. Changing this process will end the era of using a FAX machine to send the application to the IPO.
When will the proposal become reality?
The proposed plan will be introduced on October the 1st 2016.
What does this actually mean for you?
It is important that you weigh up the options available to you to decide whether a UK Registered Design or Registered Community Design is the protection most suited to your needs.
The reduction in official fees makes UK Registered Designs much more attractive than they previously were. For companies just requiring protection in the UK, they are now particularly attractive.
If you want to use your design and have it protected in Europe then a Registered Community Design is highly attractive. If you want to be protected in just the UK, a UK Registered Design is appropriate.
At present, it is possible to obtain registered design protection in the UK and rest of the EU with a single EU Registered Design application. When BREXIT actually happens (a date is not yet set), it is expected that EU Registered Designs will not cover the UK any more. To obtain registered design protection in the EU and UK, it will be necessary to file both -
- an EU Registered Design application (as at present)
- a UK Registered Design application
This will inevitably result in increased costs. The reduction in official fees announced by the UK IPO will be important in reducing that increase in costs.
Given this proposed change; cheaper fees combined with a more efficient registration system will now make registering a design far more favourable in the UK than in previous years, particularly for SME’s.
If you have any questions, please do get in touch with your dedicated Wynne-Jones IP contact or our renewals team.