Design Law to Make Copying a Crime

One of the less well reported changes contained in the Intellectual Property Act 2014 is that the commercial exploitation of a registered design without the design owner’s permission will become a criminal offence, with a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment on conviction.

In addition, the Act provides that the intellectual property in a design will rest with the designer, not the person commissioning the design, unless the contract stipulates otherwise.

The provisions in the Act will start to come into force from 1 October 2014.

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