Design rights: how long do they last?

In practice it is important for the client to be aware as to the duration of any intellectual property rights, this will enable an client to plan when they need to instruct their solicitors to make a renewal, if one make an application for a renewal.

Under the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 a design right will expire:

“(a) fifteen years from the end of the calendar year in which the design was first recorded in a design document or an article was first made to the design, whichever first occurred, or

(b) if articles made to the design are made available for sale or hire within five years from the end of that calendar year, ten years from the end of the calendar year in which that first occurred.

(2) The reference in subsection (1) to articles being made available for sale or hire is to their being made so available anywhere in the world by or with the licence of the design right owner.”

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