The Intellectual Property Office has today announced that it proposed to change the Registered Designs Act 1949 to allow those with registered designs to mark their product with a web address rather than the word ‘registered’ and the relevant design number.
The reason for marking products is to prevent cases of innocent infringement, that is by telling others or putting them on notice that the design is registered. This is important because it allows for damages as opposed to only an account for profit (in cases of innocent infringement).
This is good news for producers of items which have multiple designs, whose registration changes over time, some new and some lapsing. By marking the product with a website, the product can be marked once and the registered designs managed on-line saving expensive changes in manufacturing costs and re-tooling.
There is no timetable for this yet, the report states the government will look for a suitable legislative vehicle. (The report can be read in full here.)