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Maximising your protection from Design Registration

Design Registration is often overlooked when considering options for IP protection, but it is an invaluable tool for many businesses – especially when wanting to protect a number of variations to a design / product.

The registration process differs from patent registration in that the submission is not text based, but instead image focussed. Acceptable submissions for a design registration can take the form of photos, CAD drawings, line drawings and on occasion a physical sample may be accepted.

Here are some key do’s and don’ts for your Design Registration:


  • File line drawings – this gives you the broadest protection as the registration is for overall shape rather than any colours, textures etc used.
  • Make sure your drawings only show the features you want to protect.
  • Get it right – there is no real opportunity to change a design once submitted – even small tweaks, so make sure you are happy with the design you are registering
  • Consider a multiple design application – this lets you protect various elements within a design, creating a very defensive position against competitors


  • Limit your designs unnecessarily – the more detail you include, the narrower your protection against competitors copying your designs
  • Be put off by the cost – design registration is a cost effective method of protection, with a discounted scale available from the IP Office for multiple design applications


For a more detailed explanation on how to maximise your protection from design registration why not listen to our Innovation Talks podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Deezer or Stitcher. Why not subscribe so you don’t miss our future episodes!

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Wendy Crosby

Director, Patents and Head of Designs Group


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