Jurisdiction and design rights
Produced in partnership with Sarah Hadland of S.H. & Associates
Jurisdiction and design rights

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Sarah Hadland of S.H. & Associates provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Jurisdiction and design rights
  • Choice of jurisdiction
  • Unregistered design rights
  • Which courts have jurisdiction over actions relating to UK designs?
  • Appealing IPO decisions—appointed person
  • Which courts have jurisdiction over invalidity actions relating to Community designs?
  • Which courts have jurisdiction over infringement actions relating to Community designs?
  • Which Community design court?
  • Forum shopping and country-by-country relief

Design rights protect the shape, configuration or appearance of the whole or part of a product/article. The interaction of UK and Community registered and unregistered design rights means that designers have the potential to protect a wide range of features of their products in the UK and EU.

There are four different design rights which coexist in the UK:

  1. UK registered designs

  2. UK unregistered design rights

  3. registered Community designs (effective throughout the EU)

  4. unregistered Community design rights (effective throughout the EU)

See Practice Note: Comparison table for design protection available in the UK.

The obvious difference between UK design rights and Community design rights is the geographical scope of the protection that they offer. A key benefit of relying on Community design rights is that under European law, proprietors have the option of obtaining pan-European remedies for infringement including pan-European, injunctive relief.

Significant changes to design law came into force on 1 October 2014 due to the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (IPA 2014). In addition to references to UK designs legislation as amended by IPA 2014, we have also included links to the provisions of IPA 2014 which brought about the changes, so you can see their origin.

Choice of jurisdiction

Design rights are territorial so choice of jurisdiction is crucial.

UK registered and unregistered design rights cover only the UK whereas Community design rights