Registered Designs

Frequently asked questions ​​​



Does a UK registered design protect my design abroad?Does a UK registered design protect my design abroad?<div class="ExternalClass376FED66C2E54650889DA81CF2407670">No. You would have to make applications in the countries in which you want protection. It is possible to make a single application to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in order to gain protection internationally. You can also make a single application for a Registered Community Design which gives protection in all the member states of the EU. <span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>
Can I tell anyone about my design?Can I tell anyone about my design?<div class="ExternalClass86207E912AD748609925DAFDAB3E70F6">In the UK you are allowed a “grace period” of one year before filing an application for a registered design. This gives you an opportunity to determine whether there is a market for it before deciding to register. It is important to understand, however, that not all countries allow this grace period and if you are thinking of applying for protection abroad disclosure in this grace period could affect subsequent foreign applications.<span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>
Is there any free advice available?Is there any free advice available?<div class="ExternalClassD013DACAFCD7438D8010E2114ED9D288">Business & IP Centre staff will be happy to answer any queries you may have. We also run regular free clinics in conjunction with CIPA (The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) where you can discuss your ideas in confidence with an attorney. Patent attorneys are qualified in dealing with all aspects of intellectual property, including designs.<span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>
How long does a registered design last?How long does a registered design last?<div class="ExternalClass87F8B916F4144528B837A161562ACB5F">A UK registered design lasts for 5 years and can be renewed up to a maximum of 25 years.​</div>
What criteria must a design fulfil in order to be registered?What criteria must a design fulfil in order to be registered?<div class="ExternalClassA02A0DF2EA9249A6968D7237CD7FADB9">​A registered design must be new and have “individual character” – it must stand out from what is already known in the overall impression it gives. The shape or appearance must not be determined by how the product “works”.<span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>
What is unregistered design right?What is unregistered design right?<div class="ExternalClass75EFCFE7644D4EA39C7E168423D305B5">Unregistered design right is an automatic right which exists as soon as the design has been created. It protects the shape or configuration of an original design against deliberate copying. It does not include 2-D designs or features which are there simply to enable one part of a product to fit into another part. It lasts 15 years from the creation of the design or 10 years from first marketing if this happens in the first 5 years. Obviously it is important to keep records to show when your design was first created.<br><br><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span>Unregistered Community design right gives protection within the EU. It lasts for 3 years from when the design is first made available to the public. Obviously design right does not give as strong protection as a registered design.​<br></div>
What does the application process for a registered design involve?What does the application process for a registered design involve?<div class="ExternalClassAD85FC8A2AE3491D8268EB805CF98C00">The application requires two sets of illustrations of the design (this can include photographs, and in cases such as textile designs, samples may be acceptable). There should be sufficient alternative views of the design to make it clear what you are wanting to protect.<span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>
What is a registered design?What is a registered design?<div class="ExternalClass6A1AED5EE6434F758E12EC94FFEB79B9">A registered design protects the outward appearance of an article. It has nothing to do with how the article might function or what it is called – simply how it looks. It can include such things as shape, texture and colours. This is sometimes referred to as “eye appeal”<span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span></div>