For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

What about design rights?


Following the recent post about Trading Standards now being given free rein to go after criminal copyright infringers, Dids Macdonald of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design) would like to know why similar help isn't available for when design rights (whether registered or unregistered) are blatantly infringed. She says:

"Whilst ACID welcomes the latest Government order (the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (Commencement No. 14) Order 2007, C.27 after a staggering 13 year delay to give Trading Standards "powers and duties" by including copyright infringement within their remit, interestingly, design right holders are still sidelined despite the reference to the Copyright, DESIGNS and Patents Act 1988. If it took this long (and an enormous amount of intense lobbying by groups such as the Alliance Against IP Theft) to improve the position for copyright holders - will it be another 13 years before Government decides to support innovators by including design right infringement?

What is the difference between between making it a criminal offence to make, distribute or sell such items as CD's, DVD's etc but not to make, distribute or sell knock off furniture, for example?"

To illustrate the point, the picture above shows a recent haul demonstrating blatant design right infringement of Villeroy & Boch china (very nice it is too; this Kat paid full price for some lovely cups). However, even with the recent change in the law, Trading Standards would not be able to help if the same thing occurred again. Something is clearly not quite right.

The IPKat doesn't have a simple answer to this, merely noting that the criminal measures of the CDPA (section 107 et seq) only relate to infringement of a copyright work, and that the Registered Designs Act doesn't have any criminal measures in it. However, he does suspect that the strong lobbying powers of the recording industry probably have something to do with the emphasis on copyright at the expense of designs.

Do any readers have any answers or suggestions?

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