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Fashion Designs- Registered and Unregistered Rights

Written by Michael Coyle on 11 January 2012

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Protecting your designs in the fashion industry.

The fashion world is constantly looking over its shoulder as competitors seek to copy designs and reproduce the same on the High Street.

There are two types of design right. The first is a Registered Design Right, the second is known as Design Right. Its confusing but at the risk of simplifying it please note the following:-

1. A Registered Design once protected is a legal right which protects the appearance of the product. It seeks to protect "the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or ornamentation." In short it protects how your product looks. This means that protection is given to the way a product looks. The Registered Design grants you a monopoly on the product for 25 years. You are provided with a certificate and there is some form of examination process involved.

2. Design Right protects unregistered designs. There are differences with Registered Designs the main one being that Registered Designs grants you a monopoly for up to 25 years to deal in the Registered Designs. They also protect two dimensional designs or surface patterns, shapes and configurations.

3. Design Right gives you automatic protection i.e. there is no examination system in place and it protects the internal and external shape of three dimensional designs only. It does not protect you for two dimensional shapes i.e. surface patterns. It last for 10 years after the first marketing of the articles or 15 years after creating the designs. You can also demand a licence of right up to the last 5 years.

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