Don’t criminalise design copying, says IP organisation

A leading intellectual property organisation has slammed the Government’s plans to criminalise deliberate design copying.

Prison bars

Source: Mike Cogh

The IP Federation, whose members include Dyson, Nokia and Microsoft, says the proposals have potentially ‘damaging’ consequences.

The Government unveiled plans to criminalise design copying earlier this year. The proposals are currently being considered by Parliament as part of the Intellectual Property Bill.

The change would see breaching design right becoming a criminal offence – in line with breaching copyright and trademark laws, which are already criminal offences. Design right gives automatic protection for unregistered designs and generally refers to 3D rather than 2D or pattern designs.

The IP Federation says it strongly opposes the measures and has outlined a number of scenarios in which it says the law change could affect designers at all levels.

The federation claims the move could dissuade multi-national companies from opening design offices in the UK, could stifle product development or could even lead to designers facing wrongful imprisonment.

It says, ‘The scenarios… illustrate a number of unintended and damaging consequences of creating criminal sanctions for infringement of registered designs. There will be many more.’

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  • Maxine Horn November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    This is astonishing given that the IP Federation members’ accept criminal sanctions for Copyright and Trademark infringement and counterfeit goods.
    It would seem to suggest therefore that design infringement is something they take lightly or merely an act against their competitors – yet disregard entirely the damage design infringement causes to 1000’s of independent designers ……
    See their half of the story here

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