A Registered Design is a monopoly covering the appearance of an article to prevent others using the design without permission.
A Registered Design protects the overall visual appearance of a product or a part of a product in the country or countries in which you register it. Typically, in the UK, it protects the appearance of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, or materials of the product or ornamentation. For this protection to have effect, the design has to be new and have individual character.
Reference to texture and materials does not mean that protection may be granted for the feel of a texture, or what the product is actually made from; only that these features may influence what the overall product looks like. Equally, design registration cannot protect non-stylised wording (i.e. basic text) nor the way something works nor the idea or concept behind a product. A Registered Design can form the basis of an infringement action against other parties and can assist in preventing others from commercialising designs which are too similar to your own.
Registered designs can last up to twenty five years. Unregistered designs may arise upon creation of a 3D design in the UK and EU (for now) and may last up to fifteen years in the UK and three years in the EU.
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