Registered designs – a change for owners marking their products
On 1 October 2017, the UK Intellectual Property Office issued a change in the way that owners of registered designs can mark their products.
It was previously the case that registered design owners were required to mark their product with the word 'registered' together with the number of the registered design. This would allow them greater protection should infringement arise and would put them in a better position when seeking financial remedy.
The new change will enable registered design owners to have a choice in how they wish to mark their products, the first option being to display the registered design number and the second, newly implemented option, is to display a relevant website address. Registered design owners will benefit equally from both options, allowing greater protection and security in respect of potential infringement proceedings.
Requirements for a website address
In order for a registered design owner to rely on a website address when marking their product, the following criteria must be met:
- Access to the website address must be free of charge
- The website address must clearly reference the product and the relevant registered design number, this must include different model numbers and variants of the product.
It is hoped that this change will reduce the costs and burdens incurred by registered design owners in marking their products and ensuring the additional protection associated with doing so. The change will also allow the public to access up to date information regarding the details of a registered design.
Owners of registered designs still do have the final option of deciding not to mark a product at all (either with the registered design number or a relevant website address) however such a decision may affect their likelihood of succeeding in a claim for infringement and any subsequent claim for damages.
If you would like any further information on this issue, or have any concerns regarding registered design rights or infringement, then please contact Blake Morgan's Intellectual Property team.