Design disputes—a practical guide
Design disputes—a practical guide

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Design disputes—a practical guide
  • Managing a design dispute
  • Planning the claim—the claimant’s rights
  • Planning the claim—demonstrating infringement
  • Choice of forum and commencing proceedings
  • Defending the claim and bringing a counterclaim for invalidity
  • Case management
  • Alternative routes

Managing a design dispute

This Practice Note sets out the practical and strategic considerations to be taken into account by practitioners and their clients when bringing a claim for infringement of design rights in the UK, and when defending such a claim and/or counterclaiming for invalidity. It includes key issues for right holders (or claimants) to check when deciding which rights to rely on and the main points to be established when planning an infringement case, including practical tips on evidence gathering. It considers best practice when drafting statements of case and the strategic issues to be addressed when deciding on the appropriate forum for the dispute. It also includes key issues for alleged infringers (or defendants) to take into account when preparing their defence and counterclaim, and searching for prior designs. It sets out guidance given by the courts on efficient case management and summarises alternative routes to resolving disputes if litigation is not appropriate.

Litigating design disputes can seem daunting because there are a number of overlapping rights that coexist in the UK. Design cases are less common than those for trade marks, patents and copyright, which means that there are fewer examples to draw upon. However, if properly planned, design claims can be run in a streamlined and effective way and result in the efficient resolution of