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Design Protection

Design protection can cover a range of particulars when it comes to the appearance of a product, including:

  • the shape;
  • texture;
  • colour;
  • materials used;
  • contours; and
  • ornamentation.

For you to register a new design, you must prove the originality and distinct features to any other similar or existing designs. In most cases the creator of the design owns all the design rights. However, the conditions of ownership differ when an individual creates a design on behalf of commissioned work or under employment as it is the employer who owns the rights.

Advantages of implementing design rights on your design are:

  • A design right protects your design for 10 years when it is first sold or 15 years after creation (whichever comes first);
  • You can use it to stop anyone copying your design; and
  • Design right only applies to the shape and configuration of the design.

There are levels to design protection that allow you premium cover for a more complex design. For example, if your design is made from two dimensional designs (graphics, textiles or wallpaper) you may be eligible for better protection. Of course all designs must have proof of the design date along with a copy of your design (photo or replica) entrusted to a credited and trusted source such as your bank or solicitors. This must be done by the original author by registered post and sealed accordingly.

Designs and patterns can be automatically protected within the European Union countries under the Unregistered Community Designs Agreement. This allows designs and patterns up to three years protection from copyright theft.

Bloomsbury Law are instructed by many high profile artists and designers and has dealt with many designs rights cases. Our experienced team of intellectual property experts specialise in design rights and protection from copyright theft. Our team can advise on design related queries and can inform you of any complex obstacles that may arise throughout the registration process.

If you would like to protect your design or want to ask a question to find out more information, please get in contact with our intellectual property solicitors and we will be able to process your query efficiently and effectively.

What do I do next?

Contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated intellectual property solicitors on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.

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