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Design Consultation Tracker

02 August 2022

Tracking updates in the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) review of the UK designs system

What's the update?



Government response to call for views published

12 July 2022

The Government published its response to the consultation call for views, noting concerns expressed by stakeholders regarding several key areas of the design system in the UK. The IPO has committed to consulting further on those key areas with an aim of amending or updating the design system.

A summary of the response on key issues is below:

  • Designs system: the IPO will consider options to simplify the designs regime with a focus on unregistered designs. In particular, it will look at the intersections of copyright and design law.
  • Unregistered design disclosure: there was recognition that the current system provokes a degree of uncertainty in stakeholders surrounding disclosure requirements for supplementary unregistered designs. The government intends to seek further views on this matter.
  • Registered designs: a fresh consultation will be launched on options for search and examination. The government will consider joining the WIPO Digital Access System.
  • AI and future tech: consideration will be given to whether new types of file format should be permitted for design registration to reflect technological change.
  • Enforcement: the IPO will consider whether there are measures which can be introduced to make enforcement more straightforward for design rights holders.

Consultation launched into UK designs system

Deadline for comments on call for views - 25 March 2022



The IPO issued a call for views to stakeholders in the UK design sector on opportunities to improve the legal framework for designs in the UK.

The call for views sought evidence on ways to improve the designs systems’ contribution to economic growth, and to inform policy and legislative choices.

Topics of interest include:

  • Examination practices for designs
  • Simplification of the complex and overlapping design system
  • Any inconsistencies in design protection which require reform
  • How to deal with disclosure of unregistered designs
  • The impact of AI and digital/dynamic designs on the design framework
  • Updates to deferment provisions
  • Ways of improving enforcement

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