The Intellectual Property Bill continues to ping pong its way between the House of Lords and the House of Commons but seems to be making headway. One of the new amendments introduces a criminal sanction for intentional copying of a UK or EU registered design without consent. Whilst I can see the benefit of such stringent measures for rights holders in that it might make deliberate copiers think twice, it should be remembered that the grant of a registered design does not have the same stringent examination process as with patents or trade marks. It is the one registered IP right which you can almost guarantee you will get even if there is an existing one which is similar.

It will be interesting to see whether eBay and Amazon, amongst others, take the new criminal sanctions on board with their own internal IP protection policies, which we have seen abused and taken advantage of by registered design owners.