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Unregistered Design Rights and Methods of Construction

Written by Jane Coyle on 29 August 2008

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There are certain criteria’s that cannot be protected by unregistered design rights. One of these is methods of construction; which is subject to patent law rather than design law. Method of construction has been defined as a process or operation by which a shape is produced as opposed to the shape itself. For example in the case of Christopher Tasker’s Design Right References; Re Patent office various aspects of sliding doors for wardrobes were held to be subject to unregistered design rights. However, the hiding from view of aluminium runners by the use of wooden mouldings was a method of construction and excluded from unregistered design right protection.

The case of Bailey v Haynes a warp knitted micromesh freshwater fish bait bag was found to have no unregistered design right protection in the 3D structure made by the thread stitching in the mesh. This was because the design used was one of four basis warp knit patterns which had been known of for centuries. It was basically a method of principle construction and was therefore excluded.

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