Design and intellectual property (IP) lobbyist body Anti-Copying in Design (ACID) is spearheading a campaign to create a new UK unregistered design law.
The campaign will aim to ensure that UK designers are not disadvantaged by any erosion or loss of access to EU design rights – both registered and unregistered – following the result of the EU referendum.
ACID said it has already engaged in talks with the IP Minister and UK Intellectual Property Office and will continue to “engage positively” with government to create a new UK unregistered design law, which would mirror EU unregistered design law and last for 10 to 15 years not three.
The UK’s decision to leave the EU could potentially result in a loss of protection for designers, including those in the jewellery industry.
A UK unregistered design right only offers design protection for the shape and configuration of a design. However, an EU unregistered rights protect a combination of colours, ornamentation, lines, texture or surface decoration as well as shape and configuration on which thousands have relied to protect their designs.
Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO, said: “The majority of the UK’s 350,000 designers rely on unregistered EU and UK design rights and being unable to rely on EU unregistered design rights would seriously affect them.
“Currently, both EU registered – with one application – and unregistered rights – which arise automatically – offer UK designers design protection in 28 member states for 25 and three years respectively.
“EU unregistered design is a much stronger design right and loss of access, potentially, could influence UK designers to launch new designs in alternative European locations to secure stronger design protection.”