UK & EU Registered Designs

A UK registered design is a monopoly right that can expand the intellectual property for a business whilst heightening the proprietor’s protection. A registered design will not only give the proprietor the exclusive right to take legal action against infringement but can also enable them to sell and import any product encompassing their registered design.

Registered designs can protect both three-dimensional and two-dimensional designs and can be a one off design. The design is protected across all sectors and is not limited to the product to which it was originally applied. An example of something that would be eligible for protection as a registered design would be bottles, typefaces and designs for plates or cars.

How to register a UK design

To file a UK design, you are required to file a formal application to the Designs Registry via the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). Alternatively, here at Lawdit Solicitors the experts can file your design for you – hassle free!

In order to get the ball rolling with the registering the designs, applicants would need to show the UKIPO the designs as they appear to the eye. If you’ve got computer-aided designs (CAD) great. If not, a photograph for each side of the design should be uploaded with your application.

How to register a EU design

The application route for EU registration (a.k.a European Community Design) is slightly more complicated to that of the UK and it very much boils down to whether the applicants seeks to keep their designs a secret until they are registered. If applicants do wish to keep them confidential, they can defer the publication for up to 30months from the date of filing the designs. Note that where applicants opt to defer the designs, the deferment requires the payment of a fee on application, as well as the payment of the publication fee before the design is published.

A registered Community Design (RCD) will not only give proprietors exclusive rights of use for up to 25 years (provided it is renewed every 5 years), but could also prevent any unauthorized individuals from infringing. This means if someone is copying a registered design, the proprietor of that design will have the rights to start infringement proceedings.

To file a design in the EU, applicants are required to file through the EUIPO. Once registered, an RCD will give protection across the whole of the European Union’s 27 member states.

Registrability – UK & EU

To be valid for registration a design is required to:

–  ‘Be new’ – this means the design must differ from prior registered designs and not have been disclosed anywhere previously or have any connection to an existing design

–  Posses individual character – the design must create a different impression from prior designs

– Not contain the use of protected emblems or flags

– Be inoffensive

Deciding on where to have your design registered is largely dependent on your personal business goals however, its registration will contribute significantly to your assets and intellectual property as a whole all whilst giving you heightened protection.

If you have any questions relating to registering your design, contact us today where a member of the team would be happy to assist you.

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