It has been some time since the last edition of Design Features. Europe has had a quiet period in designs, before the first cases reached the Boards of Appeal at OHIM and the higher courts of Europe. Now, however, the OHIM Third Board of Appeal has issued a number of significant decisions. A large part of this issue is therefore devoted to considering the effects of these. Some are appeals from decisions of the Designs Department concerning the filing stage, and some (a growing number) are on points of validity from the Invalidation Division of OHIM. One of these is now on its way to the Court of First Instance, and we await their judgment with interest.
In the meantime, there have been major procedural changes at the UK Designs Registry. We give a brief explanation of these in this issue; on economic grounds, most applicants now use the community system, but these changes improve the attractiveness of the UK system a little.
Finally, we review a number of UK court decisions under the new law. It remains to be seen whether the European Court of Justice will overrule these.