Foreword

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural edition of Designs: A Global Guide, the latest publication to join the World Trademark Review portfolio. In an era characterised by intense product diversification and a correspondingly urgent need to stand out in the market, the protection and enforcement of design rights have become key tools in the IP professional’s armoury. However, the approach taken to designs varies from country to country, leaving counsel to navigate a complex web of regimes. Reflecting this, Designs: A Global Guide is intended to provide practitioners with an invaluable reference guide to the designs regime in 21 key jurisdictions, as well as providing an overview of the European system. Written by experts from leading firms across the globe, the guide is designed to provide a simple, easy-to-use digest of some of the main issues involved in the protection, enforcement and exploitation of designs. Each chapter outlines the legal framework and registration procedures in the respective jurisdiction, considering the treatment of unregistered rights, the protection available for trade dress and the safeguarding of rights through other legal avenues, as well as presenting strategic enforcement advice. Although the chapters in this book offer valuable insight into the law and practice governing design rights, they do not seek to provide specific legal advice and should not be read as such. However, only those firms and organisations with specialist expertise in the field were invited to contribute, and the authors raise a number of critical points that rights holders and their advisers should take into consideration when constructing an international designs strategy. I am grateful to all the authors for their commitment to and participation in this valuable project. If you have any feedback on the guide, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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