Guidance

Objecting to other people's designs

Anyone has the right to object and challenge someone else’s design.

1. Rectify a registered design

Any ‘aggrieved’ person, for example, the author of a design who is not recorded as the joint proprietor of a registered design can apply to the court to correct the register of designs.

2. Apply to the court

To apply for rectification, you must apply to the court, not to us, but you must send us a copy of your application for rectification.

Send us a copy of your application to Intellectual Property Office, Concept House, Cardiff Road, Newport, South Wales, NP10 8QQ.

The court will decide the issue, and if necessary instruct us how to correct the register.

3. Cancel or invalidate someone else’s registered design

If the design was registered before 9 December 2001 you may apply to cancel it. The grounds for cancellations can be found in Section 11 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended).

You can cancel a design because:

  • it was not new or lacked material differences when compared with an earlier design at the time it was applied for
  • there are other reasons for which it could have been refused registration

If the design was registered on or after 9 December 2001 you may apply to invalidate it.

A design may be invalidated because:

  • it was not new or lacked individual character when compared with an earlier design at the time it was applied for
  • there are other reasons for which it could have been refused registration under the amended law

The grounds for invalidation can be found in Section 11ZA of the Registered Designs Act 1949 as amended.

You must provide written reasons, called a ‘statement of grounds’, when applying to cancel or invalidate a design, and include them with your application form.

There is no requirement to file formal evidence with your statement of case (although it often is), however, you must clearly explain the basis and grounds for your request for invalidation. If a defence is filed by the proprietor, time periods will be set for each party to file evidence.

We will write to the owner of the registered design, and to you, at each stage of the process. If neither of you are prepared to give way after we have received all the evidence, we will appoint a hearing to decide the matter.

If we allow the removal of the design from the register it will usually take effect from the date of registration.

To apply to have someone else’s design removed from the register, you must send us a DF19A.

Published 3 May 2014