Uma Suthersanen Design Law in Europe

ISBN 13: 9780421576100

Design Law in Europe

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9780421576100: Design Law in Europe

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the proposals on the European Design Regulation and Directive. It also examines the impact of the EU legislation on the regimes of the UK, France, Benelux, Germany and Italy, the key industrial jurisdictions in the Union, as well as the parts of domestic design law which remain unchanged.* Comprehensive, practical analysis and commentary on the changes impacting on the registered design laws of the Member States

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Design Law in Europe Uma Suthersanen Sweet & Maxwell GBP95 Hardback Pages lxxviii + 705 The EC Design Directive 98/71 was adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 1998 and the deadline for its implementation is 28 October 2001. As yet, no Member State, has implemented it. The Directive aims to harmonise the substantive aspects of Member States national laws: it does not attempt full scale harmonisation in that it does not address procedural issues, nor does it deal with the fact that in some Member States designs are protected by means of copyright and design laws. Indeed, the Directive will only apply to registered design rights and applications for such rights. Implementation of the Directive in the UK will necessitate changes to the existing law of registered designs (as embodied in the Registered Designs Act 1949 (as amended)). Legislation to implement the changes is still being drafted and has yet to be made public. Notable changes include the introduction of a grace period of one year prior to the filing date (or priority date) within which designs can be tested in the market without endangering the novelty of the design - a welcome change for brand owners who insist on test marketing products before committing themselves to design registration and who in the past have forfeited protection as a consequence. Other significant changes will include the definition of a design and a product which together will broaden the scope of registrable designs. The contentious proposals concerning the protection of spare parts have been omitted from the final version of the Directive. The Directive is, however, only one part of the harmonisation programme put forward by the Commission. There is also a proposal for a Community Design Regulation. The Regulation is in draft form at present and a revised proposal is expected shortly. Like Community Trade Mark Regulation it proposes a centralized registration procedure for obtaining Community wide design protection. It is intended that the Community Trade Marks Office in Alicante will administer the system and indeed it has already started to recruit personnel to deal with the expected flood of applications! Once the Regulation has been adopted, designers in the UK will have a choice of mechanisms for obtaining design protection in the UK. Depending upon the nature of the design it may be possible to obtain protection under copyright or unregistered design right, by registered design or by a Community design registration. Recent changes to the Hague Agreement regulating the international registration of industrial designs mean that for UK designers obtaining protection for their designs outside the UK may also become much easier. Not only will proprietors be able to file Community design applications they may also be able to use the Hague Agreement to obtain international protection akin to that available under the Madrid Arrangement for trade marks. Advising a particular design owner on whether it would be better to seek protection by means of national design registrations, the Community design or via the Hague Agreement will be a new challenge for practitioners in what must be one of the most complex areas of IP protection, given the different options available for protection in different Member states in terms of copyright, unregistered rights and registered rights. Faced with this complex array of choices 'Design Laws in Europe' is a welcome addition to the library of any practitioner involved in advising clients on international protection. The book begins with a very readable historical , social and economic analysis of designs which helps to put design law in context and explain why there have tended to be cycles of over and under protection as legislators seek to grapple with the nebulous concept of 'designs'. There is then a very detailed analysis of European Community Law dealing not only with designs but also copyright as it relates to the protection of designs. The third section of the book provides an analysis of national copyright and design laws in the various European countries (including Member States). Design law is not, of course, the only means by which three dimensional articles can be protected and no work on the subject would be complete without discussing alternative means of protection such as utility model law, unfair competition and trade mark protection. Although these are not discussed in as much detail as the design laws themselves there is sufficient material here for the practitioner to understand the basic concepts of each and appreciate the differences of approach in various European countries. For those who like to read the text of the legislation under discussion the book includes six appendices containing the text of the French, German, Italian UK and Benelux design laws and also extracts of some of the copyright laws as they relate to designs. Copies of the Design Directive and proposed Regulation are also included. Given the volume of material included in this book (both in terms of primary legislation and critical analysis) it is a very handy reference work for information on designs. The style of writing is easy to read and is helpfully broken down by subject and paragraph headings making it easy to find your way around the book. Writing this book must have involved a significant amount of research by the author and has resulted in a book of considerable value to the practitioner (or lecturer) in this field. Dr Belinda Isaac ARNANDER IRVINE & ZIETMAN LONDON 12 October 2000Design Law in Europe is a very handy reference work for information on designs. The amount of research undertaken by the author has resulted in a book of considerable value to the practitioner (or lecturer) in this field. EIPR (full).

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Editore: Sweet & Maxwell, U.S.A. (1999)
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