The Intellectual Property Act 2014
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What does it do?
As well as the obvious regulation of intellectual property it
apparently simplifies the procedure for protecting 3D designs and puts
design rights on the same level as copyright and trademarks.
What are design rights?
Design rights protect original 3D designs, they seek to
protect the visual features of a shape, 3D product configuration or
ornamentation of a design. They are most commonly used in
creative industries and examples of the same are used to protect
designs in relation to furniture, footwear, packaging, architecture and
a vast array of 3D objects.
They differ from the other IP rights such as trade marks and
copyright as trademarks protect mainly a name, a logo or a combination
of the two (popular examples include the Coco Cola, Nike and Google
marks). Copyright deals with various categories of works including,
artistic, literary (including databases) and musical works, there is a
degree of overlap between copyright and design rights however copyright
arises automatically and has no formal process of registration.
Design rights are particularly important for businesses that
are in the process of bringing out a new 3D product
particularly if they do not want the outward shape of their product to
The changes introduced by the
IntellectualProperty Act 2004
- Infringement of a Design right is now a Criminal offence
and as well as rights holders taking civil action they can also notify
the police regarding fake products.
- In the past design right litigation was particular costly
for rights holders but a new service is set to be introduced by the
Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the UK that allows a business
whose right has been challenged as being 'unoriginal', the right to
contact the IPO for an opinion on the merits of defending the case
before taking the matter to Court.
- Changes on ownership mean that businesses must be aware
that when they commission a designer to create a design, the legal
ownership of that design will remain with the creator and not the
business that commissioned the work (unless there is an
agreement to the contrary).
Written by Rehana Ali
About the Author
Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation,
commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We
are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual
Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of
Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the
largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2014-11-20 09:00:42 in Legal Articles