What can registered designs protect?
You can protect aspects of the design of your product including its shape and/or decoration. Registered designs give exclusive rights for up to 25 years. UK unregistered design rights last 15 years and protect the 3D shape of a product. Community unregistered design rights last three years and protect shape or decoration.
Registered design protection can be obtained for the visual form or appearance of an article and can include lines, contours, colours, shapes, textures, materials or ornamentation of the whole or a part of a product. This includes complex products (which are made of multiple parts), packaging, get up, graphic symbols or icons. A registered design cannot validly protect features of the design which are dictated solely by its function, or which are required to fit to other parts. The design must create a different overall impression when compared with earlier designs in the same area. In assessing whether a design has individual character, the amount of design freedom that the designer had when creating the design will be taken into account.
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