The UK IPO has posted a new practice notice, Designs Practice Notice DPN 1/09, on a simplified priority claim procedure. Where filing the identical design in the UK, you can so declare on a special form and thus avoid the need to file a certified copy. Interesting issues arise in relation to the difference (if there is one) between identical representations and an identical design, which the IPO discuss in their DPN. There may also be unresolved questions about the effect of other elements of a design application, such as the identified goods/title.
By way of background, of UK designs filed in the first quarter of 2009, only 4.1% had priority claims (of these 40% were filed by unrepresented applicants and 60% through agents) as opposed to more than 50% before the introduction of the Community design system. Thus, though a welcome simplification, this measure is unlikely to have major impact on most design system users.