26th November 2014

 

 

Marking of Products, Packaging, Literature and Websites


It is very important to mark your products, their packaging, any associated literature (i.e. manuals, technical guides, marketing materials, etc.) and/or relevant pages of your website with marking information relating to your Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).


Third parties are made aware of your having the IPRs identified, and this has the advantage of maximising the deterrent effect of your IPRs – which effect is unquantifiable and, typically, deters from infringing your IPRs all but the most determined infringers.  Importantly, for registered IPRs (such as Patents, Registered Designs and Trade Marks) marking maximises damages following enforcement of your IPRs, as marking removes the ‘Innocent Infringer’ defence, which might otherwise be used to mitigate damages awarded against the infringer.  However, please note the last paragraph on false marking.

 

Recommended Marking

The following provides various acceptable forms of marking for the IPR in question. 

  • Patents:
    • GB [patent application number or publication number]
    • Patent applied for: GB [patent application number or publication number]
    • Patent No. GB [patent number, e.g. 1234567]
    • www.[companywebsite]/Patents - New 1 Oct. 2014!
  • Trade Marks: 
    • ®
    • ™ (but no legal significance in UK)
  • Registered Designs
    • GB [Design No.]
    • GB Registered Design No. [number]
    • cf. change in law for Patents as no analogous website marking!
  • Copyright © & Unregistered Design Right:
    • © [your name/employer’s name] [Year]

 

False Marking

Beware of false marking.  It has various forms, but if you do not hold the IPRs with which you are marking your products, etc., then you may face criminal prosecution for that offence. 

 

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