The UK Patent Office has publicised the results of its consultation on UK Legislation relating to Community Designs. The consulation sought views on a number of proposals put forward to ensure that the Community design system will work correctly in the UK, namely:
Unjustified threats – be afraid…
* 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;
*applying Crown use provisions to community designs to the extent that the use is necessary for essential defence or security needs; and
*designation of Community designs courts (this has already been done by statutory instrument in March of this year in order to meet an EU deadline).
Only two public response to the consulation were received, from CIPA and ITMA. The Patent Office is taking this to mean that there is broad public satisfaction with its proposals and so the Patent Office intends to proceed with its proposals.
…be very afraid
Both CIPA and ITMA made what the IPKat thinks is a very sensible suggestion, that threats provisions in the UK for all IP rights should be in the same form, modelled on s.70 of the Patents Act 1977 (as amended in 2005), since this is the most recently drafted threats provision. CIPA also suggested that a “prior user” defence be introduced to UK registered designs provision. However, both of these suggestions have been said to be outside the scope of the consultation.