The IPKat has come across a rare phenomenon – a design decision from the UK Patent Office. In April 2003 Alexander John Garnett applied under the Registered Designs Act 1949 (as amended by the Registered Designs Regulations 2001) to register a design intended to be applied to a “stool”. The design consists of a stool which is shaped like a giant computer key and has a word on top. The design was registered but in September 2004 Ross Byers McBride applied to have the design registered for lack of novelty and individual character. He pointed to a stool of his own that he had displayed at UK and German design fairs.
The application for invalidity failed. An applicant for invalidity must provide evidence to prove his claim. Here the applicant for invalidity’s Statement of Case set out the grounds, but he had filed no evidence and the applicant’s claim to an earlier right have not been demonstrated. The photographs accompanying the Statement of Case did not confirm use of the illustrated design at any particular date or location.
The IPKat says that it’s unfortunate for Mr Byers McBride, but future applicants for invalidity have no excuse for not providing this basic evidence.
Some stools that aren’t eligible for design protection here, here and here