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".