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Ken Targett

Hampshire, United Kingdom




Design Right Requirements
Design Right Duration
Design Right Enforcement

Enforcement of design right

Most disputes relating to infringement of design right are settled out of court, with the infringer agreeing to stop infringing, with the owner and infringer agreeing a licence, or with the owner realising that there is no infringement .

In a case which cannot be settled, the proprietor can take court action. On the one hand, if the proprietor is successful the remedies include an injunction to restrain continued infringement, forfeiture or destruction of any infringing articles, actual damages or an account of profits, additional damages, and legal costs. On the other hand, if the design right is unsuccessful, they may need to pay the infringer’s costs, together with damages if the owner obtained a temporary injunction while the court action was pending.

In an infringement action, the court will need to be satisfied that design right does indeed subsist and is owned by the alleged owner. 

In the development of a new product in which design right may subsist, it is therefore important to maintain good records of what is designed and marketed by whom and when, and to keep the original design documents or prototypes.