Further to our earlier posts here and here, we can now report that the reduced fees for UK registered design protection will come into force on 1 October 2016.
As we previously reported, businesses looking for registered design protection in the UK will make significant savings under the new fees regime. The fee reductions will be substantial. Filing fees will be based on the number of applications filed; the more applications, the greater the saving. Businesses will, for the first time, be able to file up to ten designs for a single fee of £70 (currently £420) and up to 20 designs for a single fee of £90 (currently £820). Businesses are advised to bulk file to make the greatest cost savings. One of the lessons to be learned from the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Trunki case is that filing simultaneous multiple applications, perhaps covering notable individual parts of the design or using different forms of representation of the design, is key to obtaining the widest possible protection. The new reduced upfront costs will make filing multiple applications possible, allowing designers to really maximise their registered design protection.
Renewal fees will increase every five years of the term of protection but, overall, will also be reduced, with the biggest savings made in the third and final renewal periods. For example, the renewal fee payable at the end of year 15 will be £110 compared with the current £310 (a 64% reduction). At year 20, the fee will be £140 instead of the current £450 (a 69% saving). Overall, the total renewal fees for a full 25 year term will be reduced by 63% from £1,100 to £410. This will make it more affordable for designers to maintain their registration for the full 25 year term.