30 January, 2018

UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law has brought together a distinguished panel to navigate the complex legal landscape which governs the registration of product forms:
•Professor David Musker (Queen Mary, University of London)
•David Stone (Allen & Overy LLP)
•Professor Martin Senftleben (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Bird & Bird LLP)
•Thorsten Gailing (Nestle UK)
•The Hon Sir Richard Arnold – CHAIR

Once perceived as the ‘Cinderella’ of IP rights, design law has caught policy makers’ attention. As appropriate levels of design protection is now deemed a vital component in a thriving economy, existing protection regimes are being scrutinised for their fitness for purpose. While the European Commission’s recent Legal Review of Industrial Design Protection reports on progress towards harmonisation, it also pinpoints the aspects of EU design law which are proving problematic to resolve. Closer to home, the UK Supreme Court has considered its first design case. In PMS v. Magmatic [2016] UKSC 12, the Court (albeit regretfully) confirmed that the registered design for the popular Trunki ride-on case was not infringed by a copycat emulation. The outcome has leant weight to the perception that the UK appeal courts are design-right-unfriendly. Are design holders rightly feeling short-changed by the narrow scope of protection which even the most creative designs seem to enjoy?