In the UK, protecting your design rights is a complex and multi-layered process. There are both registered design rights and unregistered design rights to consider, and it can be difficult to determine whether a product’s novel features are capable of design rights protection or whether patent protection may be the more appropriate option. Our specialist lawyers can help you cut through the confusion. We specialise in filing and protecting design rights, as well as taking swift action to resolve disputes.
What are design rights?
There are two types of design rights: registered and unregistered. Both protect you against someone copying your rights, but registering your design rights gives you better protection. For example, your designs are protected for up to 25 years and you will not have to prove that you own a design if someone has copied it.
You can register your design rights if your design meets strict eligibility criteria of being “novel” and of “individual character.” Our design rights solicitors can help you understand what can be registered, and we can register your designs with both the UK and EU Intellectual Property Office.
What happens if someone copies my design?
The presence of a public register at the UK/ EU Intellectual Property Offices means that others have express notice of your design rights. So, an infringer will not be able to claim that they did not know about your rights.
However, there may be question marks about the scope of what has been registered, and whether your rights cover all the features of the design. Sometimes, even a slight difference in the overall look of the product can help in the infringer’s defence.
The usual remedy for design right infringement is damages and an injunction to prevent further infringement. We can also apply for an order requiring the destruction of the infringing goods.
What design rights services do we offer?
Our intellectual property lawyers can help you file, protect and defend your design rights. Our services include:
- Registering design rights – we can take control of the application process for UK and EU registered design rights applications.
- Protecting design rights – we can draft the proper assignments, licenses and commercial agreements to ensure that you own all the rights to your designs.
- Disputes and enforcement – we provide expert litigation and dispute resolution support if your design rights have been infringed, or if someone questions your ownership.
Due to the complex and technical nature of design rights disputes, we work collaboratively with you and your design experts to examine all the legal options. We can also help in a range of related areas, including commercial disputes and corporate reputation management. This means you can be certain that you will be receiving the highest quality legal advice with your commercial interests front and centre.