What is a Registered Design?
A Registered Design protects the overall shape or appearance of a product. The product can be the design of packaging, graphical symbols, an individual component of a more complex product, or basically any item that possesses an individual character in its design that is new and which is not formed wholly through its technical function.
Why is it important to register a design?
A Registered Design will significantly assist you in an infringement action should it be necessary to commence legal action against another party that has copied the design without your consent. A Registered Design also allows you to sell the design or license it to allow someone else to use it.
What is the qualifying criteria to register a design?
The registration of a design is valid if it is new and if it possess an individual character. For a design to be considered as 'new' it must not be identical or similar to any other design that has already been published or disclosed in public in the United Kingdom or European Economic Area. However, you can apply to register a design up to 12 months after you first disclosed it to the public (if you register a design after 12 month from first disclosure then the registration can be declared invalid).
The individual character of a design means that the appearance of the design differs from the appearance of already known and existing designs.
Are there any other exclusions?
Yes, a design cannot have the potential to offend a substantial proportion of the population. Furthermore, the design cannot consist of a protected flag or any other international emblem.
How long does a Registered Design last?
A Registered Design is renewable every 5 years and the registration can last for a total period of 25 years.