27 June 2014 by

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 – change is coming…

Current UK patent and design law will change significantly with the implementation, later this year, of the Intellectual Property Act 2014.

The Act follows the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth in 2011, and aims to make the registration of patents and designs more user-friendly and less expensive.

The Act will introduce several major changes that will:

  1. bring UK patent and registered design law into line with EU law;
  2. create a Unitary Patent – a single patent applying throughout 25 of the EU member states – and a Unified Patent Court which will deal with all challenges to Unitary Patents;
  3. allow businesses to provide a web address on their products, for third parties to access the relevant patent details, rather than products having to carry all patent numbers in full;
  4. improve the Patents Opinions Service, which allows third parties to seek non-binding opinions from the UK Intellectual Property Office on patent-related queries;
  5. allow businesses and individuals to make one application, and to pay one fee, in order to register their designs in a number of countries;
  6. offer registered designs a similar level of protection as is currently given to copyright and trade marks, by criminalising the offence of knowingly copying a registered design; and
  7. see the establishment of a new Designs Opinion Service, allowing the UK IPO to give independent, non-binding (and cost-effective) guidance on possible design disputes 

Overall, the process for seeking and (if applicable) securing patent and registered design protection across the EU should become simpler, faster and cheaper. The owners of products incorporating patents and registered designs will also have more statutory protection than ever before.

If you have any questions regarding the above or any other intellectual property matter please contact Stuart Sproule on 020 7288 4750 or stuartsproule@boltburdon.co.uk

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