On December 19 2017, direction given by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) under Section 31A of the Registered Designs Act 1949 came into force. The new directions update the use of a revised DF2A form for making an application to the Patent Office for the registration of a design, as set out in the Schedule to the Directions. Under the new directions and online application portal, those applying for registered designs can now submit 12 views of a design, as opposed to the previous limit of seven views.
The earlier limit of seven views per design application had proven troublesome to some design applicants. In particular, in circumstances where the design applicant wished to submit more than seven views in order to properly disclose the features claimed in the design, the limit of the number of views was also a limit on the ability of the designer to properly include all the features in a given design. In addition, those claiming priority from earlier design registrations often found the limit of seven views an impediment to their ability to distinguish a new design from that of an earlier registration.
The UKIPO has now implemented the directions, allowing 12 views of a design to be provided in an application received on or after December 19 2017. The UKIPO will continue to monitor the situation, with a view to a potential further increase of the number of views of a design permitted at a future date, if the issues identified prior to the new directions are not resolved by latest increase.
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This article first appeared in the February 2018 issue of the INTA Bulletin.