Design rights arise automatically on creation of an original design, much like copyright.
The same design right can be registered and will then enjoy both forms of protection. UK and community registered designs last for 5 years from application and the period can be renewed 4 times. Registration gives you the exclusive right to make, sell, distribute and licence the design and gives you a right of action against infringers.
Basically, anything relating to the physical appearance of an object or part of any object, from art works and clothing to crockery or furniture, can be registered as a design, including
- pattern or texture
Provided it is
- novel, ie. not the same as or similar to a design which has already been registered or made public
- more than purely functional, even though it does not have to be aesthetically pleasing.
We Advise On:
- design protection
- claims in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC)
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