The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it will introduce an Intellectual Property Bill to make changes to the law of designs and patents. The contents of the Bill will implement changes to designs law that were recently announced in the Government’s response to its own consultation and included, among other measures, the introduction of criminal penalties for infringement of registered designs; the tying of the concept of “commonplace” to a specific geographical area; and a change of first ownership of design right from the commissioner to the creator of a design. In relation to procedure, the Bill contains provision for a new opinions services for infringement of registered designs and a new, alternative path of appeal from decisions of the Intellectual Property Office, to the Appointed Person rather than the High Court. On the patents side, the Bill will provide for the establishment of part of the central division of the Unified Patent Court of First Instance in London and local divisions within the UK. To keep you advised on the progress of the Bill and to advise you on its ramifications, especially for designers, contact Christopher Evans of Druces LLP’s Corporate & Commercial team.