What is a registered design?
A registered design protects the appearance of the whole or a part of a product. This includes features such as the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the whole or part of a product or its ornamentation. However, designs do not protect the functionality of the product. Like patents, registered designs are territorial – they can only be enforced in the jurisdiction they are granted in.
Why should I register my design?
Registering the look of the product you’ve designed aims to stop people copying or stealing it. Once registered, you can license, sell or mortgage your design.
How do I get a registered design?
We will search all UK, EU and worldwide design registers and intellectual property. We’ll also prepare detailed illustrations, suitable for review by the registered design office. We’ll draft and submit the application on your behalf.
Would my idea qualify for a registered design?
To register your design, it must:
- Be new
- Be your own intellectual property
- Not be an invention or dictate how a product works
- Not be offensive i.e. no graphic images or words
- Not make use of protected emblems (such as the Olympic rings).
Why is it important to do this during the design process?
It’s important to ensure that the appearance of your design is not similar to other designs if you wish to register it.
By undertaking the search during the design process, we’ll ensure your design is unique. This potentially saves you time and further cost compared to undertaking the patent process after the design has been fully developed.
How long does it take to get a registered design?
In the UK and Europe, applications are relatively straightforward to make and of relatively low cost. The Intellectual Property Office aims to examine your design within two weeks of submission.
How long will the registered design apply?
The life of a registered design in Europe is a maximum of 25 years. You must renew your design registration every five years.