Design Right & Unregistered Designs

Design Right arises automatically when you create a new product.

When you create such a product you will benefit from:

  • UK design right
  • European Community design right

UK design right protects the shape of the product and is infringed by someone who makes a product which is copied from yours and is very similar in shape. It generally lasts up to ten years.

European Community design right is similar to UK design right except that it also protects surface decoration. However it only lasts three years.

To take action for design right infringement, you must be able to demonstrate that the infringer actually copied your design. If they independently came up with something very similar, you can’t take action under these rights. However, you could take action under a Registered Design.

It is important to keep records of new designs, and dated paper copies are better for this purpose than computer records.