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Monday, 19 September 2016

Book Review: Le Droit Du Design

This slim and informative book is the eighth in the intelle©tual p®operty series from the Law Faculty at the University of Geneva. It collects the papers submitted for the intellectual property conference held on 5 February 2015:


- New Trends in Industrial Design and Development Law at the International Level (Marcus Höpperger)
- The Hague System Today and Tomorrow (Grégoire Bisson) 
- The assessment of the individual character of Community design in the practice of OHIM (Carlo Rusconi) 
- The protection of designs in Swiss law: assessment of the prospects and LDes (Nathalie Tissot)
- Design Law in the Apple vs Samsung Dispute: Lessons and Prospects (David Stone) 
- Protecting Designs Globally: a Practitioner's Point of View (Michael Ritscher)
- Design practice of law in the watch and jewellery (Bertrand Siffert).


Regrettably this Kat can only speak and read French un petit peu, so with apologies to messrs Rusconi, Tissot, Siffert and his former French teachers, this review covers the English chapters only.


New Trends in Industrial Design and Development Law at the International Level (Marcus Höpperger)

International industrial design laws are notoriously diverse, both in terms of the substantive conditions required for protection and the procedures for obtaining registered protection. Hopperger argues that despite this, "there are areas of industrial design law that lend themselves to a more common and harmonised approach among member states." The paper includes a useful summary of the proposed changes that would be put into place by the draft Design Law Treaty.


The Hague System Today and Tomorrow (Grégoire Bisson) 


Bisson says that the Hague System is in the midst of a period of 'spectacular' development following the ratification of the Geneva (1999) Act by the Republic of Korea, Japan and the USA. All three nations joined the Hague System as Contracting Parties whose Office is an Examining Offices. This means, Bisson says, that users of the Hague System will increasingly have to bear in mind that "someone at the other end of the international registration process will be appreciating their design and its disclosure from a substantive point of view." The author acknowledges that applying for registrations through the Hague System has become more complex, but argues this is a "small price to pay" for single pass access to protection in over 80 countries.


Design Law in the Apple vs Samsung Dispute: Lessons and Prospects (David Stone) 


This helpful case note comes from a partner in the intellectual property department at Simmons & Simmons. The chapter focuses on the EU decisions related to Apple's 2004 Registered Community Design for a handheld computer (RCD 181607-0001). It is an excellent primer on the infringement proceedings at OHIM and the German, Dutch, Spanish and UK national courts. The author is not shy of offering constructive criticism where he feels that the courts erred in their reasoning. 


Protecting Designs Globally: a Practitioner's Point of View (Michael Ritscher)


The author shares the insights accumulated from 20 years working in-house for the high-end Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra. This thoughtful piece asks whether existing legal frameworks and practices provide adequate protection for the aesthetic element of product designs. Ritscher also questions whether academics and judges adequately consider the overlap between design rights and other forms of IP protection (particularly trade marks and copyright). 


I would recommend this book to any practitioner or student wishing to bring themselves up to date with recent developments in international industrial design law. A 10% discount is available to IPKat readers on request to Patrick.detraz@schulthess.com.


JACQUES DE WERRA (ed.), Le Droit de Design / Design Law, collection, p®opriété intelle©tuelle - intelle©tual p®operty, Geneva / Zurich 2015, Schulthess Éditions Romandes.

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