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

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

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