The UK's Patent Office is currently inviting you to make your comments on certain aspects of the operation of the British legislation relating to Community designs. According to the Patent Office:
"The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on a number of possibilities for legislation which would ensure that the Community designs system works correctly, and that the checks and balances in the system are correct. The particular issues are:The first four of these issues involve applying provisions which already exist for UK national registered designs to Community designs, ensuring increased consistency between the UK registered design system and the Community design system. The fifth issue is necessary to meet Community obligations. Says the Patent Office: "We propose to designate the courts competent for UK designs matters as the Community design courts".
* making it an offence to claim falsely in the UK that a design is protected as a Community design;
* providing redress against groundless threats of infringement of a Community design in the UK;
* providing that communications with a professional representative on the special list under Article 78 of the Community Design Regulation in matters regarding the protection of designs should be privileged, whether or not that representative is also a patent or trade mark agent;
* extension of crown use provisions of the Registered Designs Act 1949 to cover community designs to the extent that the use is necessary for essential defence or security needs; and
* designation of Community designs courts".
If you want to make any comments, email Pierre Oliviere who will be delighted to hear from you.
The IPKat notes the somewhat parochial nature of this review. He looks forward to the time when really serious substantive issues can be reviewed, such as the problems caused by the huge potential overlap between Community design protection and Community trade mark law.