Is UK Design Law fit for purpose ?

If UK design law fit for purpose, and it not what should be does. Stop whinging and and tell the IPO what you think, I have just received an e-mail as below – I might quibble on the time allowed for response – but it should help concentrate the mind:

Online Questionnaire – The Utility of Design Law

This is a unique opportunity for you to contribute to building a better design law regime in the UK.

British design makes a major contribution to the economy, but as the recent review of IP and Growth, commissioned by the Prime Minister, made clear:

‘the role of IP in supporting this branch of the creative economy has been neglected’.

The Intellectual Property Office has therefore commissioned Speechly Bircham and Mountainview Learning to explore the effectiveness of design law in the UK and to research ways of bringing the IP system up to date by examining:

      – how effective the current UK design protection system is seen to be;

      – whether designers and design based companies believe they can access justice;

      – the effectiveness of remedies available for design infringement; and

      – barriers to enforcement of design rights.

The recommendations from the report prepared by Speechly Bircham will inform Government policy.

Your involvement

We hope to gain a broad insight into the way in which design law operates in practice.  We are therefore keen to hear your views on (amongst other matters) the actual and perceived efficacy of design law, the benefits, disadvantages and availability of the various remedies available to address design right infringement and your proposed improvements to the current design law regime.

In this regard, we would be grateful if you could take the time to participate in the online questionnaire, which is being undertaken by Speechly Bircham and Mountainview, and which will help us understand whether the scope of the law relating to design and the structures and methods of protecting the aspects of design which you consider to be valuable are in your view “fit for purpose”, and if not, why not?  The link to the questionnaire is set out below.

Kindly note that the date for completion of the online questionnaire is 20 April 2012.

Thank you in advance for your time with this.

Kind regards

Andy Smith

Business Co-ordinator

Economics, Research and Evidence Team

Intellectual Property Office

Dept. Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Concept House Cardiff Road S. Wales

NP10 8QQ

(0) 1633 814249


 Comment from Nicholas Bohm:

I tried to leave the following comment on your blog on this topic, but it was rejected as spam (!):  I leave it to you whether to find a way of getting it to your readers’ attention.

“The consultation seems to be aimed at discovering whether designers are satisfied with the state of the law (i.e. whether it effectively protects what they think ought to be protected).

This leaves unaddressed the question whether the law suppresses activities which ought not to be prevented. If any readers of this blog have faced threats of action under the design protection laws for things they thought they should have been free to do, I would like to urge them to respond to the consultation in order to redress the balance.

I apologise if anyone else has been unable to post comments. This is a moderated blog and they should come through to me to accept or reject. I normally accept, whether or not I agree,  provided I know the provenance of  the comment and it is not actually libellous. I do not think I have rejected any comments other than obvious spam but I am no longer receiving this so I suspect the CW spam filter may be an over officious. So please feel free to contact me direct or via EURIM –  I am still as “consultant” to them.