IPO launches call for views of its design protections

The evidence and views received during this call will help the government office inform future policy and make changes where needed.

The government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a call for views as it seeks to review the way designs are protected in the UK.

It follows a survey put out earlier this month, which sought to gauge general feeling from the design community on the current processes.

“Design law is still over-complicated”

The designs system, as the IPO calls it, is supposed to enable rights holders to protect their designs and enforce their rights. However, as Anti-Copying in Design (ACID) CEO Dids Macdonald told Design Week earlier this month, the current system is largely unfit for purpose.

“Design law is still over-complicated, little understood and has been eroded even more with the loss of EU27 unregistered rights,” she said. She welcomes the IPO’s move to review what is currently on offer.

Three main target areas

Unlike the survey, which was aimed at those who “do not consider themselves IP experts”, the call for views seeks a “wide range” of evidence from people with experience within the system.

Three main areas are being targeted: new opportunities, future frameworks and better regulation.

In particular, it will seek thoughts on areas like the complexity of the current system and if it needs simplifying, what impacts Brexit has had on the system and if the system is flexible enough.

“Intellectual Property rights are fundamental to the business of design”

On the topic of IP, Design Council chief design officer Cat Drew says: “Intellectual Property rights are fundamental to the business of design. We want a design IP system that keeps pace with and reflects new technologies and global markets.

“As part of our Design Economy work, we are looking at ways to enable designers to provide more value for people and planet, and we will be looking carefully at the suggestions emerging within this important review by the IPO.”

How to respond

The call for views will run for eight weeks, closing on 25 March.

Once it is closed, the government says it will assess the responses and publish a summary. These will inform government decisions on any next steps and action needed.

To respond to the call for views, head to the government’s website.

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