Changes to ‘Address for Service’ rules in the UK
From 1 January 2021, new UK intellectual property applications and oppositions will need a UK address for service.
As we reported back in January, the new fees will pass on to customers the cost savings the UKIPO has achieved following the introduction of an online filing system for registered designs in September 2015.
Designs protection concerns the appearance of products. For a design to be registrable it has to be new and differ sufficiently from existing designs. Gaining protection of all or part of a design allows its owner prevent others exploiting the design or closely similar designs, helping to maintain competitive advantage.
It is hoped that the lower fees will encourage a greater number of filings for UK registered designs and also increase the number of designs being renewed for their full 25 year registration period.
The biggest savings will be for those filing multiple design applications online. Instead of paying £420 for 10 designs, they’ll pay £70 – saving £350. However, for customers who continue to file paper applications, the fees will remain at the current higher rate.
The new tiered pricing structure is as follows:
|Number of designs within an application||Current fees||Reduced fees|
|Up to 10 designs||£40 per each additional design
£420 for 10 designs
£70 for 10 designs
|For each additional group of 10 designs||£40 per each additional design
£820 for 20 designs
£90 for up to 20 designs
Renewal fees are also being reduced, making it cheaper to maintain registered designs for their full 25 year registration period.
|Relevant period||Current fees||New fees|
|1st renewal (5 years)||£130||£70|
|2nd renewal (10 years)||£210||£90|
|3rd renewal (15 years)||£310||£110|
|4th renewal (20 years)||£450||£140|
If you are currently in the process of renewing a design, it is important to be aware of the date the renewal is due. If it is due on or before 30 September 2016 you will have to pay the old fee rate. If it is due on or after 1 October 2016 you will pay the new fee rate provided you wait to pay it on or after 1 October 2016.
If you are developing a product with a new design that you would be interested in protecting, please get in touch with your usual Wilson Gunn attorney.