Designs may be protected by both unregistered and registered rights, with registered rights giving a greater deal of certainty. Design protection helps safeguard the aesthetic appearance of a new product or a particular design that can be applied to a product.
There are various forms of design protection available, one of the most commonly applied for is a registered European Community design which protects ‘the look’ of your product in all EU member states with a single intellectual property right.
Registered designs are often ancillary to patent protection for the same product, or trade mark protection for the same design. Our patent and trade mark attorneys can assess and advise upon the options you have for seeking design protection based on your commercial drivers and protection strategy.
Typically a design registration lasts for an initial period of five years and can be renewed for four further periods of five years each. But there is considerable variation in the term of design registrations in different countries.
Our design related services include:
- Pre filing searches
- Advising on any unregistered design rights subsisting in your products
- Filing registered design applications in the UK and across Europe
- Filing international registered design applications
- Filing overseas registered design using overseas agents
- Infringement and validity opinions
- Renewal of design registrations
- Design portfolio management
- Design enforcement, often in collaboration with other legal professionals
- Entitlement and inventorship disputes
- Assignments and licensing agreements