This article takes a brief looking at registering designs in the UK and EU.
UK registerecd design applications are filed at the United Kindom Designs Registry which forms part of the UK Intellectual Property Office. UK registered designs protect you in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Irelad and also the Isle of Man. Registration is goverened by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) and it grants the owner of the design a monopoly over the appearance of the whole or part of a product. In order to be registrable the design must be new (i.e. it must differ from current known designs by more than “immaterial details”) and have individual character (i.e. the design must create a different overall impression on an informed user). A design application itself must be filed within one year of the design being made public. A registered design can last for up to 25 years, it must however be renewed every 5 years within the 25 year period.
EU applications are filed at the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), a registration covers all 27 member states of the EU. A registered Community Design gives the owner a monopoly over the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from various aspects of the design. As per UK registered designs a registered Community Design must be new and have individual character (the tests are the same as per the UK design).