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Annual Technical Report 2006 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by United Kingdom (SCIT/ATR/ID/2006/GB)


Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.


I. Evolution of registration activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants (registrations) with respect to the previous year


Design Applications filed: 3588
Design Registrations: 3432


Design Applications filed: 3086
Design Registrations: 2855

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

Demand for Designs in 2006 dropped by 14% compared to 2005. This continues the trend which began during 2003, following the establishment of the Registered Community Design (RCD).
New rules were introduced on 1 October 2006 which allow applications for multiple designs on one application form. A new fee regime has been introduced. Fees are split into an application fee and a publication fee. Publication and payment of the relevant fee can be deferred by up to twelve months. The effects of these changes are unlikely to be known until 2007, however levels of demand are rising in the short term.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to industrial designs

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes

Publishing, including printing, copying techniques and electronic printing

Lists of designs which have been registered, renewed, corrected, or which have requested restoration are published weekly in the Patents and Designs Journal. This is an electronic only weekly journal published on our web site (

We offer a range of search options on our website including Proprietor, Service Agent, image and Locarno Class.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of industrial design information

Office notices are published in the weekly electronic journal; The Patents and Design Journal. Notices are also published on the Office’s web site.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online industrial design gazettes and other sources of industrial design information, including download of bulk industrial design data

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification (please indicate whether industrial designs are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

Design applications are currently classified according to the Locarno Classification 8th Edition. Class 99 is subject to internal adaptation to allow classification of applications containing logos.

Bibliographic data and processing

Although no formal search is carried out as part of the examination process a commercial search is available. An Internet search allows search by Locarno Class or Proprietor or a combination of these items.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

The UK registration process does not include a novelty search but examiners are able to raise objections against application if their own knowledge is such that they are aware the design is not new. Following a consultation, new rules were introduced with effect from 1 October 2006.
The registered design rules can be found at

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

No documentation from other offices is maintained or considered part of any search files.

V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs

In-house systems (online/offline)

Searches are undertaken in a number of ways. Bibliographic details are held on the ACORD system which runs on an ICL mainframe. Designs images and associated bibliographic details are maintained on the internal Designs Registry Image Management System (DRIMS) which is used for searching within the office. A public web-based service is offered via the DRIMSweb system. Public search is also available in the British Library Business and IP Centre sited in London. Both DRIMS and DRIMSweb are based on standard Documentum architecture.

External databases

No external databases are searched

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), data carriers used

All UK Designs Registry staff are equipped with networked Pentium 4 PCs running the Windows XP operating system attached to a local area network running Novell NetWare 6. 5. Standard automation products available to all staff include Microsoft Office products such as Word and Excel. Novell GroupWise 6.5 is currently used for e-mail. Access to the ACORD mainframe system and the DRIMS image system is available via the networked PCs

VI. Administration of industrial design information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security

Applications for design registration can be made by post or in person to our Newport, South Wales or London offices.

Bibliographic details of applications are captured to the ACORD system with design images scanned onnto the DRIMS system.

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and industrial design information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web).

Our web site provides a wide range of information including the benefits of design registration, how to register a design, design law and legal decisions, guides to applicants, examination practice and frequently asked questions. All currently used forms are available in pdf and Word format along with guidance on completion and applicable fee information.

All trade marks can be viewed via the Internet through a specific case enquiry function.

Brochures and guides for applicants are available via the web site or through our Central Enquiry Unit which acts as a contact centre for all areas of Intellectual Property. The Enquiry Unit also offers general guidance about designs, with more specialised advice being available from the designs examination section. A search of registered designs is available on payment of a fee. A search by Proprietor or Locarno classification is available on our web site via the DRIMSweb system.

In 2007, we will be introducing a commercial Search & Advisory service where customers can obtain advice on the registrability of a design. General advice is also available via our Central Enquiry Unit with more specialised advice being available from examination, classification and legal areas

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to industrial designs; opposition and appeal procedures related to industrial designs; etc.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., industrial design search service(s), industrial design databases, etc.), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of industrial design information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes

There is no formal exchange of documentation or information but this is made freely available to other intellectual property offices.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

A series of events for small and medium sized enterprises were held around the UK advising on how to manage intellectual property including advice relating to the UK design registration process.

Exchanges of information were held with a number of overseas design registries in person with visits to the UK or individual contacts with design examination staff.

Main industrial design and industrial property information magazines/journals published in the country or region of the Office

IX.Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

contain the Annual Report of the Office

X. Other relevant matters