This is an extract of our Ip Rights Comparison Table A3 document, which we sell as part of our International Intellectual Property Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.
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WHAT IS PROTECTED?
New inventions and industrial processes
Invention must be new/novel, involve an inventive step and be capable of industrial application. Must not be within any exclusions Patent is granted in return for disclosing details of the invention to the whole world.
20 years from filing date.
Implied: Arises automatically. No registration is required. Protected by law of confidence. Express: By contract
Protected provided the info has the necessary quality of confidence about it and is disclosed in circ's importing an obligation of confidence.
Protects the visible, outward appearance of the whole or part of a 2D/3D article, during ordinary use of all or part of a product. (e.g. can protect the shape of an object or its surface decoration). Can therefore protect packaging. get up, graphic symbols, typography etc.
Monopoly/exclusive right to use and benefit from the design commercially.
Registration at UKIPO
In order to register a design it must be both new/novel and have individual character. Must have design flair and be different to other common place designs.
Indefinite - protection lasts as long as info is confidential. However - nothing to stop competitors analysing your product to see how it's made. Lose protection if someone else discovers your secret -info is no longer confidential and is in public domain. Up to 25 years from registration. Must be renewed every 5 years.
If a design is not registered, it may still have some automatic protection by unregistered rights. Unregistered design rights are concerned with the 3D shape or configuration of a marketable (or potentially marketable) product. (As opposed to registered which applies to 2D & 3D) Protects brand names/logos/signs
Prevents unauthorised copying of an original design.
Registration required. Administered by Patents Office in UK. Patents typically take 2 to 3 years to be granted.
UNREGISTERED DESIGN RIGHTS
Owner is rewarded with the protection of an exclusive, monopoly right to use their invention for up to 20 years from the filing date. Gives owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission. This allows them to strike licensing deals or keep rivals at bay whilst they establish their brand. Protects the unauthorised disclosure of confidential info.
REGISTERED DESIGN RIGHTS
HOW IS IT OBTAINED?
MAIN SOURCE OF LAW (UK) Patent Act 1977
MAIN INTERNATIONAL TREATIES You can protect your invention in many international jurisdictions by making an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and making an application through WIPO or EPO.
Law of confidenc e/case law
Registere d Design Act 1949
INTERNATIONAL VARIATIONS USA: 2 types of patent: utility patents protect the functional aspects (similar to patents in other jurisdictions) & design patents (protect ornamental design of an article, similar to design right). Patent grant presumptive - burden is on the Patent Office to prove why a patent should not be granted.
Netherlands - not automatic for exemployee to have obligation of confidence in relation to employers sensitive info Italy - not very common to have post contractual obligations of confidence in employment contract France - possibility of criminal sanction for breach.
The Hague System for the International Deposit of Industrial Designs
USA: Design rights are design patents and rights offer 14 years protection. A design patent protects only the ornamental, non-functional features of the design.
The Locarno Classification System, Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs
May not register features dictated solely by products technical function or features necessary so that it can connect to another product(s). Any similar features will be excluded from protection.
Monopoly/exclusive rights to the use of the
Design right arises automatically on the creation of the work in the UK. May be registered with UK Copyright Service to establish proof of the date &
content of the work in case of any later dispute.
UK design rights apply to original, non-commonplace designs of the shape or configuration of products.
Registration is required.
Must be capable of graphical representation.
UK - 10 to 15 years according to circumstances. EU - 3 years from point the design is first disclosed or made available to the public.
Indefinite - but must pay a renewal fee every
Copyright , Designs and Patent Act 1988
Trade Marks Act
Most countries, including USA, have statutes specifically relating to designs.
The Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks
EU - TM may consist of any sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one
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