Registered Designs are often the unsung heroes of Intellectual Property law. A Registered Design is not only effective in terms of its enforcement but is also relatively cost effective.
In the UK we have Copyright laws which protect a design/ drawing. However these require proof that you were the first person who created the drawing/ design and proof that the design has been copied. This can often be difficult to establish. As there is no formal registration procedure for copyright the creator of the works does not have any official certification which can be shown and used to enforce the rights.
This is where Registered Designs come into play. If you have created (for example) a unique Tea Pot, the design of the Tea Pot can be logged with the UK Intellectual Property Office. If it is accepted (there are various hurdles that the design must jump before it is) then you will be granted a Registered Design.
This will then give you an exclusive right to produce and sell that specific design of Tea Pot in the UK. This protection can be extended through Europe. If you become aware of a third party selling the same design you can take action to prevent it.
Overall a Registered Design is a very effective way of protecting something that you have created (look and feel). Like all other Intellectual Property it adds to your portfolio and becomes an asset of the company.