Cipa: Scottish law a patent restriction for designers

Scotland’s legal system for intellectual property rights is restrictive to designers and should be brought in line with the system in England and Wales, according to the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents.

Cipa, a professional body representing UK patent attorneys, has submitted proposals to a working group that is currently examining the legal services market in Scotland. These proposals recommend that Scottish designers should be allowed access to the same IP services as those registering designs in England and Wales.

Under the current Scottish system only barristers, rather than patent attorneys, may represent designers in court. Additionally, while England and Wales has the Patents County Court, Scotland has no dedicated IP court.

Cipa is proposing that Scotland allows patent attorneys as well as barristers to handle IP rights litigation and that it creates a court similar to the PCC, or permits cases to pass to this court in England and Wales.

‘The aim is to give customers more choice and less expensive options when litigating patent and design rights,’ according to a spokesman for Cipa.

Chartered patent attorneys act on behalf of designers to ensure that the legal registration of designs protects the originator’s commercial and intellectual property interests. The precise wording of this registration can determine the extent to which others are prevented from copying or adapting a design.

In England and Wales IP registration and litigation can take place in the High Court and the PCC. The latter is faster and less expensive and all registered patent attorneys may conduct litigation there, explains the Cipa spokesman.

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