A registered design provides an exclusive right in the appearance of the whole or part of a design. The owner of a registered design enjoys the exclusive right to use the design for an initial period of 5 years, which may be extended over a further 5 year period up to a maximum of 25 years. They can prevent someone else from using the design, making, and offering, selling, importing or exporting a product featuring the design or stocking a product for those purposes.
You can register the look of a product you’ve designed to stop people from copying or stealing it.
The look of your design includes the:
- Physical shape
- Configuration (or how different parts of a design are arranged together)
What you’ll get
Registering your design:
- Protects any aspect of your design, for example, both the product’s shape and decoration
- Gives you the right to prevent others from using it for up to 25 years - you have to renew your registered design every 5 years
- Makes taking legal action against infringement and copying more straightforward
Once registered you can display your registration number on your design.
Shapes of objects may already be automatically protected by design right, but it’s easier to protect your design if you register it.
What you can and can’t register
To register your design, it must:
- Be new
- Not be offensive (for example feature graphic images or words)
- Be your own intellectually property.
- Not make use of protected emblems or flags (for example the Olympic rings or the Royal Crown)
- Not be an invention or how a product works - you’ll need a patent instead
You cannot protect the functionality of a design - for example, a chair that folds down more quickly than others of the same kind.