Virtual marking for registered designs

Quite some time ago (October 2014) we reported here the introduction of the option for “Virtual Marking” of patented products, whereby the holders of UK patents could provide a simple web address on patented products, instead of detailing the patent(s) on the products themselves.  The associated web page must provide the relevant UK patent number(s) and identify the associated product.

Such virtual marking makes it much easier to keep patent details up to date, without needing to undergo costly changes in packaging etc.

We are pleased to advise that the possibility of employing such virtual marking has now been extended to products covered by UK Registered Designs, as a consequence of the entry into force of the Digital Economy Act in October 2017.

Analogous to virtual marking of patented products, the link must lead to a web page which is (a) accessible free of charge and (b) clearly associates the product with the relevant registered design number(s).

Marking of products covered by UK Patents and/or Registered Designs is helpful in preventing an infringer from successfully arguing that they were unaware of the existence of the relevant intellectual property, which can exempt them from liability for damages in respect of the infringement.  As noted above virtual marking, by providing a web address on products and/or their packaging, is a cheap and flexible option for rights holders.

For further advice please get in touch with your regular Nash Matthews contact.