Design Rights and the Intellectual Property Act 2014 – Part 2

The changes to UDR


If a work was commissioned, the owner of the work used to be the person that commissioned the work, this is no longer the case. First ownership now rests with the designer, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Limitation of trivial design features

The definition of UDR has been amended to limit the trivial features of a design.

Clarity on wording

The definition of what constitutes a ‘design’ has been clarified, it now reads ‘for a design to be original it must not be commonplace in a qualifying country’ as opposed to ‘relevant design field’, thus providing clearer guidance on geographical scope.

The definition of ‘qualifying person’ has been amended in relation to those who may claim an unregistered design right.

Infringement exceptions

Acts done privately (such as teaching) without a commercial agenda, will not infringe UDR.


The changes to RDR


As with UDR the designer is now the first owner

Infringement = Criminal offence

Intentional copying of a registered design will now amount to a criminal offence, this is extended to acts that are carried out in the course of business and penalties for infringement range from a fine up to imprisonment!

Further infringement exception

An authorised user of UK or EU RDR cannot be sued for copyright infringement.

Applicants/owners RDR

The applicant for a RDR no longer needs to be the owner of the design.

Good faith exception

There is a new exception to infringement, namely allowing a third party that has acted in good faith to continue to use a design which is later registered by another user.

Enforcement rights

The act empowers Trading Standards officers with the same powers as those afforded in relation to trade marks and copyright.

International registration

International registration will now be possible on UK based registrations (previously this was only possible via EU registered designs).

Appeals process simplified

New rules allow for appeals to be lodged against UKIPO decisions direct with the UKIPO as opposed to appeals via the Courts.



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