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Leading IP expert urges wallcoverings businesses to protect their designs

Wallcoverings manufacturers have been urged to make registering their designs a priority to protect them against copyright infringement.

Tony Catterall, Head of Intellectual Property at Commercial Lawyers Taylors Solicitors, advised those in the wallcoverings industry to be proactive when it comes to protecting their intellectual property.

An application to register a design can be made up to 12 months after the design is launched, giving the opportunity to see whether a design is successful before applying.

A registered community design gives protection in all countries of the EU.

Mr Catterall spoke about copyright issues affecting the wallcoverings industry at the annual congress of IGI, the Global Wallcoverings Association in Portugal.

He was invited to address the conference as one of the best-known lawyers to the home furnishings industry and a leader in the field of designs and copyright.

Mr Catterall told the gathering that the great advantage of registration was that it defeated an argument of independent origination by the infringer.

He said: “Businesses should be mindful of protecting their intellectual property by taking the appropriate steps to register any designs. A registered community design gives protection in all the countries of the EU and application can be made up to 12 months after the design is launched, which gives an opportunity to see whether a design is successful before applying.”

John Carter, Chairman at Graham and Brown who also attended the IGI Congress said ‘I have had the pleasure in working with Tony for more than 20 years on design copyright issues, he is a straight taking guy who gives his opinion in a very clear and concise manner, from the start you get a very clear indication from Tony if you there is or isn’t a case to answer, this in my opinion is very unusual when you talk to a lawyer you can find yourself coming out of a meeting with more questions than answers, this is definitely not the case when you appoint Tony to represent you.’

IGI, headquartered in Belgium, is a worldwide not-for-profit organisation with the mission to help the wallcovering industry solve business problems by providing a forum for discussion.

With offices in Blackburn and Manchester, Taylors is a commercial law firm exclusively acting for company clients.  The dynamic and highly experienced lawyers at Taylors are committed to providing the highest quality service through a first-hand understanding of our clients’ business priorities and specific requirements. It is a well-known adviser to companies in the UK Home Furnishings Industry.

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