What is a Registered Design?

Posted by Jane on March 14, 2014 / Posted in Trade Marks
Registered Designs – the basics.

What is a registered design?

A Registered Design is a legal right which protects the overall visual appearance or a part of a product. A registered design will enable the proprietor to have an exclusive right in the country it is protected. The physical shape, configuration or decoration of a product can be registered.

A ‘design’ is defined as “the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or ornamentation.” The appearance of the product can result from a number of elements and protection is given to the way the product looks. Protection is not given to: non-stylised wording; how a product works; or the idea behind the design.

The term ‘product’ includes: the packaging; get-up; typography; and parts of a product which require assembly. Protection may be granted for the overall presentation of a product if it is made from several components but sold as a single product. Products can be registered as three-dimensional or two-dimensional products.

Requirements for registration

For valid registration the design must:

Be new / novel – differing from prior registered designs in the UK and EU

Possess individual character –creating a different impression from prior designs.

Be inoffensive

Not use of protected emblems or flags

What does registering a design do?

A registered design gives the proprietor intellectual property rights and provides more protection than a design right. It will protect all aspects of your design and gives you exclusive rights to use it for up to 25 years provided it is renewed at five yearly intervals.

A registered design right can be used to start infringement proceedings against any third party who carries out any rights exclusive to the proprietor. It will also help to prevent others from using identical or similar designs.

How to register?

To have your design registered in the UK, you must file a formal application at the Designs Registry which is part of the Intellectual Property Office(IPO). The IPO will examine your application within 1 month and if there are no objections, your design will be registered immediately.

To have your design registered in the EU, you must register your design with Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market.

Rachel Pellat

Jane Coyle
This entry was posted on March 14, 2014 and is filed under Trade Marks. You can follow our blog through the RSS 2.0 feed.