UK Registered Design Protection and Process

Written by Thomas Staveley | June 28, 2023

Design Rights

To obtain registered design protection in the United Kingdom, you can follow the process administered by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). Here are the necessary steps involved:

  1. Application preparation: Gather the necessary information and materials for your application. This typically includes:
    • Clear representations of your design, such as drawings, photographs, or computer-generated images. These should clearly show the features of your design from different angles.
    • A description of your design, highlighting any distinctive or unique aspects.
    • Applicant information, including name, address, and contact details.
  2. Conduct a search (optional): You can conduct a search to check if any similar or identical designs have already been registered. While not mandatory, it can help you assess the novelty and distinctiveness of your design.  It is important to remember that if at the time of filing your application, your design is not new meaning that there are designs already in the market which do not perform a different overall impression in the informed user, your design may then be vulnerable to cancellation for lack of novelty.
  3. Submit the application: File your application with the UKIPO. You can submit it online through the UKIPO website or by mail. Include the necessary application fee, which can vary depending on factors such as the number of designs and the filing method.
  4. Application examination: The UKIPO will examine your application to ensure it meets the requirements for registration. This examination typically involves assessing the novelty and individual character of your design. They may request additional information or clarification during this process.
  5. Publication and opposition period: If your application passes the examination, your design will be published in the UKIPO’s Designs Journal. This publication gives other parties the opportunity to oppose your design within a specific timeframe (usually two months). If no oppositions are filed, your design will proceed to registration.
  6. Registration: If there are no oppositions or if any oppositions are resolved in your favour, your design will be registered by the UKIPO. You will receive a certificate of registration, which provides evidence of your rights.

It’s important to note that the duration of registered design protection in the UK is generally five years, with the possibility of renewal for additional periods of up to 25 years. Separately, you will only have 12 months from date of first disclosure of your design to register it.  You must register the design in the UK within this grace period otherwise, your design will no longer be novel.

If you need support with registering a design, get in touch with our team by filling out the contact form below. We’ll be in touch to organise a free consultation.

Dive deeper into this topic: The Complete Guide to Design Rights


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