You may have invested a great deal of time, effort and money in creating the design or look of your product. Once your product is sold or made available to the public, then it may be straightforward for a competitor to copy that design and sell competing products without having to invest the same time, effort and money.
Just as copyright can be used to protect against copying of so-called “artistic works”, registered designs can be used to protect against copying the design of your product for up to 25 years and prevent competitors from selling those competing products.
Obtaining registered designs can be relatively inexpensive and may be a commercially useful mechanism for protecting the investment you made in designing your product and help keep competing products off the market in the UK, EU and/or elsewhere.
Whether it's a product, a part, a package or any other item, we can advise on design registration.
We can save costs with multiple products in a single registration, or multiple countries in a single application.
Whatever your needs, we can plan and execute the most efficient design registration filing strategy for you.
A design includes the appearance, the physical shape, the configuration (or how different parts of a design are arranged together) and/or the decoration of the product. That design needs to be “new” and have “individual character” when compared with all designs created at any time, anywhere in the world - in practice it is often possible to register a design as long as it is not identical to an existing design, although the extent of protection may then be limited to those differences.
Designs that you don't own because they have been designed by someone else either in the UK or overseasEven if you contracted a designer to help you with your design, you still may not own that design - we can help you to resolve that if that is the case. Designs that have been publicly disclosed more than one year ago. Certain features of a design also can't be registered, but again we can help you understand what those features are so that you can assess those.
The first step is to contact us so that we can check whether your design is in principle registerable and whether registration makes commercial sense for you. If it does, then drawings of the design may need to be prepared, although sometimes you may already have these. The application is prepared, filed and fees paid to the relevant government Intellectual Property Office, the registration then occurs within a few months. Should you wish to obtain protection in other countries, then applications need to be filed within 6 months from the initial filing. Once registered, a fee needs to be paid to the relevant government Intellectual Property Office every 5 years to keep the registered design in force.
If you would like to find out more about how you can use registered designs to protect your investment then please get in contact.
Script IP provide us with a first class service supporting our in-house corporate team of patent lawyers.
Global Head of Intellectual Property, UK Headquartered Manufacturing Company