A registered design is a valuable piece of intellectual property. It essentially protects the overall impression of an object.
When you submit an application you will be permitted to include 7 images of the same design. This is usually a combination of images which show the front of the object, the sides of the object, the rear of the object and the top and bottom.
When you file a registered design application it is important to think carefully about what illustrations you will submit with the application. These illustrations must represent your design in full and leave no doubt as to what it is you are seeking to protect. If you ever need to rely on the registered design it will be crucial that the images show the object in its true light as this will make it easier to successfully prevent the manufacture of the competing design.
The illustrations therefore must present an accurate and complete picture of your design.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (www.ipo.gov.uk) offer the following advice on the illustrations contained within a registered design application;
Repeated surface patterns
Views of designs with a repeated surface pattern should show the complete pattern and be surrounded with enough of the repeat to fully illustrate the entire pattern. Such designs should be indicated on page 2 of the application form.
These should be ink drawings or, better still, good-quality photocopies. Only use cross-sectional (cut through) views if they are essential to show a feature properly. If you do include sectional views, they must not show any internal features which cannot normally be seen on the finished product.
These should show the product in front of a clear background and should not include any other items. Avoid confusing highlights, reflections and heavy shadows. Take care to prevent misleading distortion as a result of the camera being too close to the item.
Glue your photos firmly to A4 backing sheets.
If you are having difficulty in representing your designs on paper, you may file a specimen of the new product design and still be granted the original date of filing. A period of time will then be allowed to enable you to produce illustrations on paper with help from an examiner should you need it. Similarly, you may file informal illustrations to avoid delaying your application date, and we will allow you time to put the paper illustrations in order for publication. The formal illustration must show the same design features as those shown in the informal illustrations.
Similar guidance can be found on the OHIM website in relation to EU applications.
However you choose to submit your images it is crucial that they are clear and comprehensive to avoid any dispute in the future.