News story

Government launches consultation on the designs legal framework

The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth referred to the current complexities of the legal framework used by businesses to …

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth referred to the current complexities of the legal framework used by businesses to protect their designs, and the importance of having a proper understanding of the role of designs in the economy. This consultation sets out proposals to help streamline the system and seeks other suggestions for improving the law.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:

“The Government is committed to ensuring that UK businesses have the best environment for growth. Part of that is ensuring that the designs legal framework is as easy to use as possible. We have listened to views expressed in last year’s call for evidence and we welcome feedback on these new proposals.”

The Government is consulting on the following proposals:

  • improving the enforcement regime to promote better understanding of rights held by others and to help avoid disputes

  • resolving uncertainties around the scope of protection

  • simplifying the laws relating to the ownership of and qualification for design right

  • improving the provision of information about design

  • enabling UK designs owners to be more selective about which countries they seek international registration for.

The Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework will run for 10 weeks and concludes on 2 October 2012.

The Intellectual Property Office has today also published new research into the importance of design to the UK economy and how businesses protect their work. The first report considers the use of the legal framework. It finds that protecting and monetising products and services can be expensive, with unpredictable results. There also seems to be a mismatch between the courts’ and the users’ view of the scope of protection. The second report considers design in the international supply chain. The report finds that design is usually exported directly rather than being supplied to third parties to manufacture and export. The report also finds that design exports tend to go to other developed economies, not to low cost manufacturing economies like East Asia.

The reports, ‘The Development of Design Law - Past and Future (194Kb)’, and ‘UK Design as a global Industry (1.15Mb)’, are available on the IPO website.

**Note to editors

**1. The Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework will run for 10 weeks and concludes on 2 October 2012.

  1. Comments on the consultation can be submitted by e-mail to Designs Review Team or by post to: Designs Review Team, The Intellectual Property Office, Room 2G53, Concept House, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP10 8QQ.

  2. The Government’s broad policy on these issues was set out in its response to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

  3. The IPO issued a ‘call for evidence (1.32Mb)’ and online survey, the results of which fed into its Assessment of the Need for Reform of the Design Intellectual Property Framework, along with the results of research on designs.

  4. The research reports focus on The Development of Design Law - Past and Future (194Kb) and UK Design as a global Industry (1.15Mb).

  5. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

  6. The IPO’s role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.

  7. The IPO operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.

  8. For further information, please contact Veena Mapara on 0207 215 5614.

  9. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44 (0) 207 215 3505.

  10. The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20

  • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

  • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

  • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

  1. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone

Fax

Mobile

Email bispress.releases@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Name Veena Mapara Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone 020 7215 5614 Fax

Mobile

Email veena.mapara@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Published 24 July 2012