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Use IP law to protect how things look with a Registered Design

A registered design protects the shape and form of a new product. Your product may have a combination of elements that are new and have individual character and as such have the basis for a registered design that can be protected.

By registering your design you or your company can effectively protect yourself from others creating products that look similar to your registered design.

For example, it may be possible to register the design of a folding chair but this would only cover way the chair looks and not the folding mechanism.

However, if the folding mechanism uses a new and inventive step it may also be possible protect the way the mechanism works using a separate patent application which is a completely different process.

Even though designs can be protected in the UK and Europe up to 12 months after being disclosed to the public, we recommend that you talk to us before you make your design public.

After first filing in the UK or Europe you can file for overseas protection up to 6 months after the first UK or European registration.

We can file applications in the UK, Europe and the US and have associations with legal firms in territories both in and beyond Europe. The International filing systems we use can significantly reduce the cost of filing overseas.

A registered design will be protected for 25 years in the UK and European Union, if you pay the renewal fees every five years.  The duration and frequency of renewal fees varies depending on the country in which the design is being registered.

REGISTERED DESIGN TIMELINE

To help you understand how IP law works this Design Registration flowchart maps the design registration process so you can see the order of activity and the options that are available as part of the registration process.