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News about designs

Businesses seeking IP protection for new products will generally focus first on patent or trademark rights; however, for certain products, design rights can provide a simpler and more cost-effective route to protection. Registering an innovative shape or a unique appearance as a design right will enable you to take action if another party introduces a similar product in your marketplace. This section sets out relevant and interesting developments in the field of designs and models law.

Mitsui and Novagraaf establish Strategic Alliance


Mitsui & Co Ltd. (‘’Mitsui’’) and European intellectual property (IP) group Novagraaf BV have established a partnership to offer greater choice to Japanese customers. The agreement, which includes an investment by Mitsui in Novagraaf, will support Novagraaf’s strategy to transform the way IP owners in Japan protect and create value from their IP assets.


Visit us at this year's IPBC Asia in Tokyo on 29-31 October 2017


The IPBC Asia is a three-day event that features senior players in the global IP market addressing how IP owners can strategically use IP as a business asset, and highlighting the challenges that they must address both now and in the future.


EU sets out its vision for IP post-Brexit


The European Commission has published a position paper on IP rights (including geographical indications) post-Brexit. The document, circulated to the remaining 27 EU member states ahead of a meeting on 7 September, sets out five “general principles” for negotiations with the UK.


Should you mark your products with patent and design numbers?


The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has issued new business guidance on the marking of products protected by registered design rights. As of 1 October 2017, registered design owners in the UK can mark their products with links to an internet site, allowing the relevant data to be updated more accurately. But what about rights outside the UK? We look at the benefits and pitfalls of..


Poundland takes on Mondelēz in battle of the chocolate peaks


Budget UK retailer Poundland has delayed the launch of ‘Twin Peaks’, a Toblerone lookalike chocolate bar, following a legal dispute with Mondelēz International, the company behind the much-loved bar. It follows public outrage at Mondelēz’s decision last year to put Toblerone on a diet, citing the falling value of the pound as the reasoning for thinning out Toblerone’s distinctive..


Design rights and the assessment of individual character


Design law protects the appearance of a product or a part thereof. It is applied to the look and feel of an object, rather than its function. This can include protecting the colour, shape, contours or texture/material of the whole product or just a part of it, so long as it meets the requirements for registrations. Two recent judgments show how the threshold for design protection is being..


Fusing corporate brands: the IP implications of growth through M&A


Where businesses merge with or acquire other businesses, the challenge for IP professionals is not always as simple as ensuring a transfer of the associated rights – there is also the question of combined or conflicting brands.


Puma vs Forever 21: why you should protect your designs


Infringement in the fashion sector can have a huge negative impact on businesses, with confusion between brands resulting in loss of revenue. Businesses need to watch out for infringers, and take action where necessary. A new case brought by sportswear fashion brand Puma highlights the importance of protecting your designs.


World Gin Day: the IP accompanying the tipple


This year's World Gin Day is on Saturday 10 June with events planned around the world. Novagraaf’s Claire Jones examines the rise of the popular beverage.


IP and business potential


Patents, trademarks, designs and other forms of intellectual property (IP) play a key role in the success of all modern businesses. By providing a company with a legal means to prevent others from copying an invention, brand or product, IP rights enable inventors and creators to obtain a return on their investments in research and development, and to maximise the potential of their businesses,..