The IP Act 2014
Following the publishing of the UKIPO’s response to the Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework the Government announced plans to modernise the process for the designs registrations system to improve enforcement.
Dids Macdonald, CEO of ACID commented, “It’s great that the Government has taken a first step to protect designers from those who copy their designs, but there is still a long way to go to ensure we receive the same protection as musicians or filmmakers and we’ll continue to make the case for what is a 33.5billion pound industry, involving around 350,000 people and dominated mainly by micro and small businesses, the majority of whom rely on unregistered design rights protection, which has not been included in the current Government proposals.”
ACID IP Director, Nick Kounoupias added “It is just disappointing that a wonderful opportunity has been missed to correct a glaring omission in IP law. At present, in certain circumstances, it is a criminal offence for repeatedly copying a drawing or design document for a design but it is absurd (where that design is not a registered design) that once that 2 dimensional document is turned into a 3 dimensional product to create the design itself, that it not be a criminal offence to copy the design. This is why at ACID we have campaigned for many years for unregistered design right infringement to be a criminal offence and to mirror the analogous provisions for copyright.”
The IP Act 2014 subsequently passed through the House of Commons and The Lords and became law on 14th October 2014, having received Queen’s Assent. Intentionally infringing a registered design and producing a copy that differed from an original in only immaterial respects became a criminal offence, punishable by up to ten years in prison with individual Company Directors liable.
Pete Wishart MP (Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary IP Group) commented “It is great that it covers Registered design rights—the great forgotten IP right. It is fantastic that ACID has at last got its way and that this will now be covered by criminal infringement provisions, but it is totally wrong that unregistered designs are not covered too.”