Mar 26, 2015

Design Opinion Service to be Introduced

A new design opinion service is set to be introduced by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

The purpose of the service is to provide advice on potential design disputes. The cost of litigation currently prevents a lot of businesses from exploiting their design rights and it is hoped that the new service will make the design rights system more accessible to small and medium sized companies.

The service will give users an indication of the likelihood of success of taking further action in potential design right disputes. The UKIPO will provide opinions on whether a design is being infringed, the validity of designs, whether UK unregistered design right subsists and the duration of any UK unregistered design right.

An opinion on a design dispute from the UKIPO would be non-binding, but could assist in resolving disputes before a party chooses to litigate.

The process will be similar to the existing patent opinion service and will involve the submission of a 'request' on which an opinion is sought together with a fee which it has been proposed will be £200. The request will be published on the UKIPO website so that interested parties can submit observations and the registrar will issue an opinion within three months of the request.

The service is expected to be implemented in October 2015 and you can keep an eye out for developments on the UK Intellectual Property Office website.

If you have any questions or require advice with regard to the new service or design rights generally please contact us by phone on 0191 281 4000 or by email at

in: Civil Procedure, Companies, Designs, Legal News, News

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