Registered and Unregistered Design Rights

Our intellectual property solicitors can advise you on all aspects of unregistered and registered design rights.

There are four main categories of design rights available in the UK. Our team will help outline which is most appropriate for you and how you should go about protecting your rights once they have been asserted.

UK Registered Designs

UK registered design right allows the owner to apply for protection of the appearance of the whole or part of a product. In particular, this protects the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation. It can be applied to both 2D and 3D features.

To obtain UK registered design right, a product must be new in the field and have individual or original character. Protection lasts for 25 years from the date of the application filing, provided it is renewed every five years.

UK Unregistered Designs – “Design Right”

UK unregistered design right automatically protects any aspect of the shape or configuration of your design, either in whole or in part, provided it is original and not commonplace. The design feature in question can be internal or external to the article.

This protection lasts for either ten years after first marketing of the articles that use the design or 15 years after the design’s creation, whichever is earlier. It is important therefore to keep proof of when you first created the design.

Registered and Unregistered Designs Rights

Registered Community Designs

Registered community design right provides protection for the appearance of a product or part of a product, including its shape, lines, contours, ornamentation, colours, texture or materials.

In order to achieve this level of protection the design must be new, have individual character and not go against public policy or accepted principles of morality. Registered community design right will not be granted to features that are dictated by the function of or to fit in with another product.

Unregistered Community Designs

Unregistered community design right is automatically triggered when a design is first made available within the European Union (EU). Protection extends to all EU Member States, lasting three years from when the design was first made available.

This right commonly arises alongside UK unregistered design.

Visit our Intellectual Property page for more information.

Contact 0161 832 6131

For help and assistance on queries relating to design rights, contact our intellectual property team on 0161 832 6131 or get in touch by filling out one of our online enquiry forms.

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