The Patent Office is setting up a database to allow the design community and lawyers to access all designs registered in the UK.
The Design Registry Image Management System, which is due to go live next year, will mean that copies of registered design images can be searched, retrieved, viewed and printed.
The details of DRIMS are yet to be finalised, but the system might be accessed for free on the Internet, says John MacGillivray, new head of designs at the Patent Office.
MacGillivray, who was officially promoted to his position last month, is responsible for overseeing DRIMS.
See News Analysis, page 9