Where a design qualifies for protection as an unregistered design right under the CDPA 1988 the first owner of the UDR will be as follows:
the designer i.e. either the person who creates the design or, in the case of a computer-generated design, the person who made the arrangements for the creation of the design or
the commissioner – where the design is created on commission or
the employer – where an employee creates a design in the course of their employment then the UDR will be owned by the employer. Where a non-employee acting on the company’s behalf creates a design then (fact dependant) the non-employee may well hold the design on trust for the employer.
Of course a design can qualify for UDR protection by virtue of being first marketed in the UK, in this circumstance the first owner of the UDR will be the person who first marketed the design in the UK.