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Designs and UK Law

Written by Michael Coyle on 20 June 2008

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Designs can be protected in one of the following ways:

1. As patents- provided they are new, inventive and capable of industrial application.

2. As registered designs.

3. As Artistic copyright in design drawings.

4. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) introduced a new form of protection for the appearance of a purely functional product known as design right which, like copyright, does not require registration. Design right is valid for the lesser of ten years from the first marketing of articles made to the design or 15 years from the creation of the relevant design document, and is subject to licences of right in the last five years of the term.

5. The Community Design Regulations 2005 The Community Designs Regulation (6/2002/EC) (CDR) introduced the unregistered Community design which is similar to the UK design right.

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