Government proposes dramatic slash in UK registered design fees

By Dani Kramer

The UK Government has just opened a consultation on a proposal to reduce significantly the fees for registered design filings.  If adopted, the changes will be hugely beneficial to designers wishing to protect their designs in the UK.     

The current fees, based on the original paper-based system, were last amended in 2006 and designers have stated that they are ‘prohibitively expensive’. In response to a consultation with designers, the UK Government has set up a new digital registration service, and the reduction in cost from a paper-based system to a digital-based system can be passed on to businesses.

The major reductions in the filing fees for multiple-part applications filed via the online system will mean that designers can file applications covering numerous different aspects (or parts) of their designs at a fraction of the current costs. 

In practice the reductions will work out as follows:

Number of applications included in the filing

Current fees

Proposed reduced fees

1

£60

£50

3

£140

£70

10

£420

£70

20

£820

£90

 

Renewal fees will also be significantly reduced, with the first renewal starting at £70 for renewing a design after its initial 5 year term for another 5 year term.

With large reductions for multiple filings, businesses will have greater ability to protect their designs more robustly.  This will be particularly beneficial for businesses that wish to protect UX and GUI designs for Apps and other electronic devices, as multiple-part applications are usually needed to show the various transitions between different screens in a user interface, and the various constituent parts of a user interface.      

The Government is interested to hear from designers and businesses, and the consultation is open until 29 January 2016.  Submissions can be made via the following site:  

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/proposal-for-changes-in-registered-design-fees