§ Dr. Vaughan
The Registered Designs Act 1949 already provides a cheap and convenient way by which new designs which appeal to the eye may be protected. An application giving a representation of the design needs to be made at the Patent Office and the official fee of £37 paid. The initial period of protection of five years may be extended to 15 years on payment of further fees. Inventions may be protected under the Patents Act 1977. The procedure is harmonised with the European patent system and leads to the grant of patents after search and examination. A registration system providing automatic grant of patents would not be in the best interests of industry and inventors as it would result in a large number of invalid patents and consequent legal uncertainty.