Journal Article

Qualification for design right: ‘springing interests’

Phillip Johnson

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 1, issue 12, pages 762-771
Published in print November 2006 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpl152
Qualification for design right: ‘springing interests’

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Legal context. An unregistered design can qualify for protection under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in a number of ways. However, as the European Community expands the qualification provisions in the Act come into conflict with Community law and the European Convention of Human Rights. This article sets out those issues and seeks a solution to them.

Key points. This article begins by examining how a design qualifies for protection, by reason of the designer, the commissioner or the employer; or alternatively by reason of the person who first markets it. It then looks at the impact of new members joining the European Community and how this might create springing interests in design right. It then tries to reconcile the right in the EC Treaty not to be discriminated against on the grounds of nationality with the right to quiet enjoyment of property under the ECHR.

Practical significance. This article considers the ownership of design right and springing interests. It will therefore be of interest to anyone who owns a design right by reason of the design being first marketed in the United Kingdom.

Journal Article.  7649 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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