Response to public consultation on UK designs framework

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) recently held a public consultation on the UK designs framework. The government has now responded to the consultation with an analysis of the responses received, including identification of issues for further consideration.

The call for views ran for 8 weeks between January and March 2022 and received 57 responses on three broad areas - new opportunities, future technologies, and better regulation.

The UK IPO’s Chief Executive, Tim Moss, said:

“The designs framework is a crucial element of our IP system. Through this review, we want to ensure it remains fit to embrace the challenges of an increasingly digital future, helping to unleash the potential of the UK’s creative and innovative industries.”

The analysis is split into key categories:

  1. Registered designs - search and examination
  2. Simplifying the designs system
  3. Disclosure of supplementary unregistered designs
  4. Future technologies
  5. Deferment
  6. Enforcement

Following this initial review of the design framework, it seems that further consultations on more specific subjects will likely be arranged in the future.

Matthew Ridley, Chair of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys’ Designs and Copyright Committee, said:

“Further consultation will provide further opportunity to identify improvements to the UK design framework - particularly in the areas of simplifying the unregistered design and copyright systems, considering the searching and examination of registered designs and implementing a harmonised deferment provision under UK law. We look forward to further engagement with government on these important areas.”

Our designs specialists at Potter Clarkson are currently reviewing the government’s response and we will follow up with a summary of their findings shortly.