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UK registered designs: Innocent infringers

Following a consultation on amendments to UK design legislation, the Intellectual Property Office has proposed to remove the limitation on liability of innocent infringers of UK registered designs and to equalise the remedies available for the innocent infringement of UK and Community designs.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has proposed to introduce rules that will permit the owner of a UK registered design to seek an account of profits, but not damages, from an unintentional infringer of the design. Further, the IPO has proposed to harmonise the existing financial remedies for the unintentional infringement of Community designs with this approach. The proposals follow a consultation on amendments to UK design legislation that the IPO launched at the end of 2010.  Financial remedies are currently available for unintentional infringement of a Community design, but are not available for unintentional infringement of a UK registered or unregistered design (section 24B, Registered Designs Act 1949 (RDA) and section 233(1), Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, respectively).

The IPO states that it will introduce the changes as soon as possible.

PLC Intellectual Property & IT Update: 14.08.12