An EU ruling extending copyright from 25 to 70 years after the designer's death is set to be fast-tracked to April 28th of this year, according to the MailOnline.

The decision, which was previously set to be implemented in 2020, has been reportedly brought forward due to a legal challenge, leaving companies just six months to sell any stock that infringes this law from this new date – or face criminal charges if they continue to trade these goods.

The impact on the replica furniture market is set to be substantial – classic designs such as Egg chair, Arco floor lamp and Eames chair would again be protected by copyright law.

The ruling will be welcomed by designers, but the decision to bring the date forward will place a great deal of pressure on many furniture dealers.

According to MailOnline: "The coalition Government's decision to repeal Section 52 of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988, as part of the the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, was expected to be implemented in 2020, to give companies affected time to adapt. However, a legal challenge has forced the Government to fast track it to April 28th this year. This is despite complaints the short period would cause 'disproportionate harm'."

Design rights specialist ACID will comment shortly.