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Changes to Registered Design Practice in the UK

Changes to Registered Design Practice in the UK

28/07/06

From 1 October 2006, the Registered Designs Rules 2006 and the Registered Designs (Fees) Rules 2006 will come into force.  Broadly, this legislation will bring the UK Registered design system into conformity with its EU counterpart.  More specifically:

- Applications will no longer be examined for novelty and individual character.  This will speed up the registration process.

- Multiple applications will be allowed.  Thus a single application covering multiple designs may be filed.  This will be less costly than filing individual applications in respect of each of those designs.

- It will be possible to defer publication of an application, e.g. to prevent competitors learning about a new product prior to its launch.

- It will be easier to restore a lapsed registration.  The test will no longer be that the proprietor took all reasonable steps to ensure that renewal fee was paid, but simply that the lapse was unintentional.

- It will be possible for the public to inspect files relating to UK registered designs.