Why register a design?
When undertaking an intellectual property audit of their business, designers often overlook registered designs. However, having your products protected by registered designs has multiple advantages.
UK registered design protects the appearance of the whole/part of a product resulting from the features of lines/contours, colours, shape, texture/material of the product itself and/or its ornamentation. In essence, registered designs protect how the products look.
Advantages of obtaining a registered design right:
Low cost. Obtaining a registered design is usually very cost-effective, and in the UK you can obtain multiple design protection under the same application for a relatively low cost.
- Registered design applications are easy to obtain, because the UK Intellectual Property Office does not examine design applications, meaning that you will obtain a registered design certificate so long as your application meets all formalities requirements.
- Registered design rights protection can last up to 25 years, provided you renew it every 5 years.
- Registered design rights are easier to enforce compared to unregistered design rights, because you do not need to prove that the alleged infringer had access to your designs and you do not need to show how the designs were created and a chain of title to the designs (which can often be problematic and burdensome).
- Registered design rights enhance your registered intellectual property rights portfolio which adds value to the business and can make it more attractive for investors and potential buyers.
- In the UK, you have 12 months to file your design application after first disclosure of the design without compromising its novelty, meaning that you have around a year to test commercial success of a particular item before deciding whether to protect it by registration.
Briffa, being expert in all aspects intellectual property law and practice, will be happy to help you put a IP protection strategy in place. If you would like to discuss protection of your designs, please drop us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to arrange a free consultation with one of our specialist IP lawyers.
Written by Anastasia Troshkova, Solicitor