What is copyright?
Copyright is a property right given to the creator of original work. The range of original work in which copyright subsists is quite substantial. These rights are awarded automatically and how long they last is dependent on the type of work protected. In the UK literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works have copyright lasting 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author of the work dies. Copyright can also extend to other countries through an international agreement such as the Berne Convention.
The UK Intellectual Property Office, the body which is responsible for maintaining the registers of intellectual property rights in the UK, is consulting on harmonising the laws relating to the infringement of registered designs so that it is the same whether or not the infringement is of a UK registered design or a Community Registered Design.
The situation as it stands is that financial remedies are available for unintentional infringement of Community registered designs, but not for unintentionally infringing UK registered designs.