A design that is protected can be of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the contours, lines, shape, colour, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation (section 1(2), RDA). This can include the get up, packaging, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces. A three-dimensional design, such as an article, can be protected as well as a two-dimensional design, such as a character images or surface pattern, logos or software icons. Protection is across all sectors, which may well assist brand owners in trying to protect trade dress as they only have to submit the one application (as well as considering protection by means of trade mark registration and passing off). The design does not have to have any artistic merit, and can be a sculpture or handicraft item.
When a matter is taken to court, parties can, in some instances, make an offer to reach an agreement before the dispute proceeds to trial