Design rights relate to the visual appearance of an industrially produced article. There are two types of Design rights in the UK - Registered and Unregistered:
1. Registered Design rights - relate to designs which are determined to be registrable by a formal Application procedure to the State; the design must be material to the customer in its shape, pattern or ornament. Registered rights give a monopoly right, as with Patents and Registered Trade Marks. A Registered Design, however, lasts for 25 years, providing renewal fees are paid at five yearly periods.
For additional registered design rights information please visit the register a design section of the UK Intellectual Property Office.
2. Unregistered Design - are a less formal right; as the name suggests there is no formal Application procedure. The right only gives protection against copying of features of shape, and is not a monopoly right. Furthermore, it lasts for a shorter period - ten years from first marketing, and during the last five years anyone is entitled to obtain a licence to use the protected design on payment of royalties (Licences of Right).
For additional unregistered design rights information please visit the design rights section of the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Research, Innovation & Enterprise Support
Please get in touch with the Business Engagement and Innovation Team who can help guide and support you with queries regarding Intellectual Property (IP) and you IP rights.