The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has acknowledged that since September 2016, when the digital service for designs was introduced, incorrect filing dates have been recorded.
What has been affected are design applications (without a priority claim) received on a Saturday afternoon after 1 pm, Sunday or bank holiday; and design applications (with a priority claim) received on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday.
What the above means is that designs filed on these dates would have been filed out of time and would have been recorded as filed on the next working day. The registration and renewal dates are also affected by this.
The UKIPO aims to make corrections to these dates after informing the owners or representatives of the design registrations.
Section 21 of the Registered Designs Act 1949 makes provisions for the UKIPO to make these corrections which state as follows:
The registrar may, in accordance with the provisions of this section, correct any error in an application for the registration or in the representation of a design, or any error in the register of designs.
A correction may be made in pursuance of this section either upon a request in writing made by any person interested and accompanied by the prescribed fee, or without such a request.
Where the registrar proposes to make any such correction as aforesaid otherwise than in pursuance of a request made under this section, he shall give notice of the proposal to the registered proprietor or the applicant for registration of the design, as the case may be, and to any other person who appears to him to be concerned, and shall give them an opportunity to be heard before making the correction.
The UKIPO has also stated that interested parties affected by this development have till the 13th of April 2022 to object to the corrections and attend a Hearing before a Hearing Officer where you would be given the opportunity to state your case.