New UK provisions for webmarking for Registered Designs
15 September 2017
Since 1 October 2014, patent holders have been able to better protect their patents through webmarks, a system whereby patent holders use a web address to mark their patented products instead of patent numbers. This system benefits patent holders as it removes the difficulties associated with having to include the patent number on every new product, which could be onerous or costly process.
From the 1 October 2017, the same webmarking process will be optional for UK registered design holders under s.33 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, which amended s.24B of the Registered Designs Act 1949 (exemption of innocent infringer from liability) to “the number of the design or a relevant internet link”. The amendment enables the owner of a product to mark their registered design with a freely accessible internet webpage which clearly states the registered design number relating to that product. This should effectively reduce burdens and costs as, should the product be updated, the owner would simply need to update their webpage, reducing the burdens of marking all products with design numbers. It should also provide better protection for registered designs as it will be harder for infringers to show that they were unaware of the UK registered design right.
Webmarking for UK registered designs will be available in the UK from the 1 October 2017. It is important to note that this amendment co-exists with the existing legislation meaning that registered deign holders will still have the option of marking their products with their design numbers.
If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing, please contact Tania Clark (email@example.com ; +442079403640) or your usual contact at the firm. This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
 For further information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/636445/Business-Guidance.pdf
 s.33 Digital Economy Act 2017
© Withers & Rogers LLP, September 2017