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Design Basics

Written by Waheedan Jariwalla on 08 January 2010

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Design protection covers the outward appearance of your product, including decoration, lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials. If you have a new shape or pattern for a product, you may be able to protect it as a design.


A registered design gives you a monopoly right for the look of a product, protecting both the shape and the pattern or decoration.

A registered design will cover the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials of the product or its ornamentation.

To be registered, a design must meet the following requirements.

It must be new

It must have individual character (meaning it should not remind an informed person of an existing design).

A UK registered design will protect you only in the UK. A Community design protection is directly enforceable in each of the 27 EU Member States.

In both the UK and the EU, registered designs must be renewed every 5 years for up to 25 years.

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