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​​Design Rights 

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.