The UKIPO is currently running a consultation that proposes changes in registered design fees. According to the consultation page on the UK Gov website the consultation arises from the development of a new digital design service for design customers. The new design service is expected to streamline the registration and renewal process with an associated reduction in operation costs. The government needs (wants?) to pass on these cost savings to the customer, hence the consultation. The proposed changes would significantly reduce application and renewal fees for UK registered designs.
The consultation document highlights that discussions with designers have indicated that UK design fees are “prohibitively expensive” such that designers often rely instead on unregistered design rights. The document notes that the new criminal offence for deliberately copying a design is only available to registered designs. The consultation document also notes that the UK registered design right fees are higher than for registered community designs which can mean that designers seek EU protection when they don’t want or need it.
The consultation suggests that the fees for filing a single design online will fall to £50 (from a current fee of £60) and multiple designs online up to 10 designs will cost £70 (currently £420). Renewal fees would reduce to £70 (1st renewal), £90 (2nd renewal), £110 (3rd renewal) and £140 (4th renewal) compared to the equivalent fees of £130, £210, £310, £450. Under the proposed fee changes the total renewals across the full 25 year period for a UK design would fall to under 40% of the current fees.
Examples of the potential benefits are provided in the consultation document for a designer wishing to file:
3 designs online – filing costs will be £70 (instead of £140)
14 designs online – filing costs will be £90 (instead of £580)
Responses to the consultation can be sent to: RegisteredDesignFees@ipo.gov.uk. Comments should be submitted by the end of 29 January 2016.
Mark Richardson 21 January 2016