UK Registered Design Right - Webmarking of Products

29 September 2017

With effect from 1 October 2017, UK registered design owners will have the option to indicate their design rights by webmarking protected products with a web address providing the relevant registered design number(s).  A similar system has been in place for patents since 1 October 2014.  Such webmarking will reduce the risk of alleged infringers avoiding a finding of damages by claiming a defence of “innocent infringement”. 

The web address marked on a product should be freely accessible and lead directly to information on which UK registered design number(s) a product is associated with.  Any relevant model numbers and variants protected by a UK design right should be clearly set out.  A general link to a home page will likely not be accepted as a clear and direct indication of a UK design right. 

It will remain an option to mark a product with a design number (and not a web address leading to the design number) to indicate UK design rights.  However, the new option of webmarking should simplify product labelling and ensuring that labels are up-to-date. 

Further details on the newly available webmarking can be found in the UKIPO’s briefing "Webmarking of Products Protected by Registered Designs – Business Guidance".

 

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