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Annual Technical Report on Industrial Design Information Activities in 2020 submitted by GB/IPO

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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. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Outline of main policies and plans aimed at development of industrial design information activities and expected time frames for their realization

The office worked on the ascension to The Hague agreement.  Work was carried out on out IT systems and business processes to implement the ascension to The Hague Agreement.  This work is now complete.  The office is also dealing with EU Exit which includes carrying out work to our IT systems and business processes. 

New projects launched or resumed this year in the context of the policies(plans) mentioned above, short description: aims, partners, tasks

See above relating to The Hague agreement and EU Exit cloned cases (Cases registered at the EU pre-exit, cases designating EU registered via The Hague pre-EU exit). 

Main areas of industrial design information activities and related information and communication technology (ICT) practices which were in the focus of attention last year

N/A

Statistics: changes in terms of application filings and grants (registrations) with respect to previous year; trends or areas experiencing rapid changes

Domestic Designs Applications  

2017                19272   

2018                26164   

2019           25550   

2020         26229                

International Designs Applications  

2018                263  

2019         3345  

2020         5231

Designs Registered  

2017                 17076   

2018                 24425   

2019             27558   

2020           27220  

The above information is based on the calendar year.

Other matters and useful links (URLs): annual report of the Office, news page, statistics, etc.

Statistics related to Industrial Designs at the Intellectual Property Office can be accessed through the annual reports, annual reviews and facts figures at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics?departments%5B%5D=intellectual-property-office 

II. SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Information and support provided by the Office to applicants regarding filing on paper and/or e-filing (instructions, seminars, etc.) - URLs

Information regarding filing on paper and/or e-filing can be found at:  https://www.gov.uk/apply-register-design

Availability of the application dossier in electronic form

Registered designs can be searched by design number or owner name at: https://www.gov.uk/search-registered-design

Registered designs can also be searched by other methods such as classification at: https://www.tmdn.org/tmdsview-web/welcome 

Classification and reclassification activities; classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification

Designs are classified using the Locarno Classification system.  The classification is completed internally by the Designs examiners.  

Other activities

The IPO is an active participant in WIPO’s Standing Committee on the Law of Trade Marks, Industrial Designs & Geographical Indications and meets with other participating offices at WIPO during Hague Working Group.

The UKIPO is a member of Locarno and meets bi-annually with other members of the Locarno Committee of Experts meetings.

The UK participates in EUIPO convergence projects on improving the quality of data in DesignsView.  We are also actively involved in EUIPO liaison meetings on designs.

III. SOURCES OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE

Main types of publications in the field of industrial design information, outline of the content (industrial design applications, design patents, registrations, etc.) and medium (on paper, on CDs, online - URLs)

The Registered Designs Act 1949 makes up part of the Designs legislation in the UK: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/737827/Registered_Designs_Act_1949.pdf

The Registered Designs Rules 2006: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/737829/Consolidated_Design_Rules.pdf

Registered Designs Examination Practice sets out guidance on the Intellectual Property Office work practices: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registered-designs-examination-practice

Designs Practice Notices (DPNs) announces changes to our practice, such as how we interpret a provision of the law, or how we handle applications: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/designs-practice-notices

Official Gazettes: main types of announcements, frequency of publication, medium (on paper, on CDs, online - URL), etc.

The designs journal is published daily and contains details of all designs that have been registered: https://www.gov.uk/check-the-design-journal

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) available to examiners, including external documentation and databases

Examiner use the Registered Designs Examination practice guidance, the Registered Designs Act 1949, the Registered Designs Rules 2006, and case law.  They also liaise with Patent Examiners if the design is of a technical nature.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/737827/Registered_Designs_Act_1949.pdf

The Registered Designs Rules 2006 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/737829/Consolidated_Design_Rules.pdf

Registered Designs Examination Practice sets out guidance on the Intellectual Property Office work practices https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registered-designs-examination-practice

Designs Practice Notices (DPNs) announces changes to our practice, such as how we interpret a provision of the law, or how we handle applications: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/designs-practice-notices.   They also liaise with Patent Examiners if the design is of a technical nature.

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) and services available to external users; conditions of access (e.g., free of charge, subscription, etc.)

Our main office is located in Newport, Wales, where the public can file applications and discuss possible IP protection with an IPO Advisor over the phone or in person via appointment.  In addition, we also have a front office in London where customers can file any correspondence for the attention of the Office. 

Legal status information (kind of information, coverage, medium, etc.)

The legal status is contained on the UK Register and may be searched by design number or owner’s name: https://www.gov.uk/search-registered-design

Other sources

Nothing to report.

IV. ICT SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Specific software tools supporting business procedures within the Office: general description, characteristics, advantages, possible improvements

Apply for Design

https://www.gov.uk/apply-register-design apply to register designs (max 50) with the IPO electronically.  In terms of improvement, some associated technology such as hangfire etc. may be due for review/replacement - this process is used for domestic applications only. 

ICE

Internet Case Enquiry - https://www.gov.uk/search-registered-design 

Find details of a UK design registered with the Intellectual Property Office.  This read-only application is the official register for the IPO.  Possible improvement - DB only refreshed once a day by batch processing.  Possible improvement would be to update data in real time. - this is used for domestic applications only. 

DEPS

This application is for internal use only and allows examiners to process paper and electronic designs.  A technical backlog has been created to cover component upgrade strategy of application versions/java version etc.  Major code releases are shared with EUIPO in their central code repository.  Dynatrace is currently being used on DEPS to help identify performance bottlenecks and implement performance improvements.

DesignsView

DesignsView is maintained by EUIPO and is used to search for designs registered in the UK by the:

·         World Intellectual Property Organization

·         European Union Intellectual Property Office

UK data is fed into this system by FTP of zipped XML files created by nightly batch job.  A complete refresh of UK data has been planned in order to address some missing fields etc. that are impacting searches on Designs View.

Dave

The Business use DAVE (for e-filed applications only) for checking if any priority claims declared are exact copies of the filing submitted to the earlier country (or not) - if not, then they write to the customer for a copy; it also contains a copy of the images pre-conversion into DEPS for reference.  This application is for internal use only.

Hardware used to supporting business processes of the Office

Staff access a Windows 10 desktop via Microsoft Surface Pro devices, which are connected to two 24 inch widescreen monitors via a dock.

Internal databases: coverage, updates, interlinks with external sources

DEPS - Database used to process designs applications.

Establishment and maintenance of electronic search file: file building, updating, storage, documents from other offices included in the search file

N/A

Administrative management electronic systems (register, legal status, statistics, and administrative support)

Management information is produced from DEPS.

Other matters

N/A

V. PROMOTION ACTIVITIES AIMED TO SUPPORT USERS IN ACCESS AND EFFICIENT USE OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION

Office's library (if deals with industrial design information): equipment, collection management, network of libraries in the country, cooperation with foreign libraries

The Patlib Network was founded by the European Patent Office but PATLIB UK is autonomous and driven by its members and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

PATLIB UK is a network of 16 libraries around the UK that offer help and support on intellectual property as well as other business topics.  They are based in local libraries and therefore open to any member of public that wishes to attend.

One of the key offerings of the network is access to support in intellectual property searching.  All centres have a minimum requirement to supply assisted searches to businesses, which includes the UK designs, DesignsView.  Many take this further however by providing lessons to guide businesses on completing basic initial searches.

Training to deliver these services has been supplied by the IPO through the IP Master Class programme as well as ongoing individual training sessions as needed.

As the centres are located within local libraries, they make the most of free databases such as DesignsView and due to lack of funding do not pay for any additional databases or tools.  Our office, through the PATLIB UK Network and the British Library, takes part in numerous exchange programmes with other patent libraries around the world as in previous years.

Publications related to different business procedures and industrial design information sources available to users, for example, books, brochures, Internet publications, etc.

Our main office is located in Newport, Wales, where the public can file applications and discuss possible IP protection with an IPO Advisor over the phone or in person via appointment.   In addition, we also have a front office in London where customers can file any correspondence for the attention of the Office. 

Cooperation with universities, technology and innovation support centers, etc.

Our Business Outreach continues to raise awareness of IP, helping businesses reach an informed decision on how to use, manage, and enforce their IP to its full potential.  This is done via a portfolio of business tools including mobile and online resources, seminars, workshops/training and working with partners to deliver broader dissemination and understanding of IP: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/intellectual-property-for-business

Education and training: training courses, e learning modules (URLs), seminars, exhibitions, etc.

We continue to communicate IP awareness to young people from primary through to secondary school.  We have developed a range of curriculum-linked education resources to raise awareness of innovation, creativity and intellectual property in partnership with UK Music, Aardman Animations and the Industry Trust. 

Campaigns are supported through crackingideas.com an online hub to support UK and devolved Governments’ curriculums plus advice and guidance for schools on intellectual property.  We have introduced a new online tool for Universities (IP Tutor) helping students and lecturers understand intellectual property rights:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ip-in-education/ip-in-education

Other activities

All marketing and PR is carried out within the External Communications team and we are achieving great coverage particularly on our social networking platforms.

VI.INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN INFORMATION

International exchange of industrial design information in machine-readable form (e.g., Official Gazettes)

DEPS release for processing of Hague IR designs. This architecture uses IBM MQ/Middleware as per architecture below.


Participation in international or regional activities and projects related to industrial design information

The IPO is an active participant in WIPO’s Standing Committee on the Law of Industrial Designs, Trade Marks and Geographical Indications and meets with other participating offices at WIPO during Madrid Working Group.

Assistance to developing countries

Provided information to Indian office on design case law with respect to immorality/obscenity/contrary to public order objections.
UK experts ran and IP and innovation workshop in Thailand and Indonesia. This looked at business strategies on how to register rights.

Other activities

The IPO provide reports to World Trade Organisation on TRIPS Agreement, TRIPS responses details work done with other offices and relate to all areas of IP, reporting on activities around technology transfer and technical cooperation.

VII. OTHER RELATED MATTERS

Nothing to report.