The registered design protects the visible, external, appearance of a product (which includes graphic symbols) and so may therefore, be worth considering for protecting your graphic design / drawing / logo, in addition to the more conventional trade mark registration protection. Registered designs are also more appropriate than trade mark registration for protecting a series of designs, for example, a character which changes clothes or which moves its arms / legs.
A design must be ‘new’ and have ‘individual character’. A design is new if no identical design or no design whose features differ only in material details has been made available to the public before the relevant date. A design has individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public on the relevant date.
The duration of protection for a registered design is a maximum of 25 years. This is achieved by an initial registration of five years, renewable in five-year periods.
The registered design right is certainly worth consideration, especially if trade mark registration appears to be inappropriate for a series of images which you require protection for.