Unregistered EU design law has had a significant impact on retailers. The number of design infringement cases has significantly increased since its introduction, helped by cost effective enforcement in the UK. However, after nearly 20 years the availability of this useful protection may well be a victim of the UK leaving the EU. It is now time to review your design protection strategy to ensure that there are no gaps in your protection.
In this module we will provide an overview of unregistered rights in the UK and Europe, highlight areas of change (recent decisions such as Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company v PMS and Cofomel v G-Star Raw confirm the constantly evolving nature of design law) and analyse whether there should now be more of an emphasis on obtaining registered protection. We will also examine a recent trend of companies attempting to rely on unfair competition / passing off to protect the shape of products.