We are looking for someone who can give us an expert opinion on intellectual property law. More specifically, we want to sell a desk in the US. The unregistered design rights in the UK are held by Paul Stott Design limited and are licensed out to John Lewis Partnership Stores. In the UK, unregistered design rights protect the design for at least 12 years, whereas unregistered design rights only protect the rights for 3 years in the EU. The table was designed in 2012. Hence, today, unregistered design rights prohibit anyone from the selling a similar design of the desk in the UK, but not in the EU. Please note that unregistered design rights are not filled and are automatically allocated upon publishing the design. Please find the original from 2012 design attached. You’ll find the original design on the left and our design on the right. The differences in design are highlighted with a red circle.
The original desk seems to be sold in the US Walmart.com by a seller called Overstock. Please see below for reference.
We intend to sell our desk in the US, but want to avoid any potential intellectual property rights infringements or any other infringements alike.
- Please verify whether any patents have been filed to protect the design of the desk
- In case no patens have been filed: could the designer or license holder from the UK file any patents in the future, even though our product is already sold on the American market?
We have had someone look into this previously. We will provide the short report upon accepting the job offer. According to the report, no patents have been filed and selling our desk in the US should not cause any infringements.