UK design rights legals
28 March 2010
UK design right protection is governed by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, The Design Right (Proceedings before Comptroller) Rules 1989, and The Design Right (Proceedings before Comptroller) (Amendment) Rules 1992.
As is mentioned elsewhere in the readingroom, in the last 5 years of UK design right protection the design right is subject to the provisions of a ‘licence of right’ regime. This means that anyone can use that design, subject to a licence that is forced upon the owner of the design.
Under section 247 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 an applicant can apply to settle the terms of a licence available as of right by virtue of section 237 or under an order under section 238 of the Act.
The duration of automatic UK design right protection is 15 years from the end of the calendar year where the design was first recorded in a design document or, if a design is made available for sale or hire within 5 years, 10 years from the end of calendar year that first occurred