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Reasons for a Registered Design

Written by Jane Coyle on 28 February 2008

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A registered design gives 25-year monopoly right in the design. Registration gives the exclusive right to make articles incorporating the design, allowing the owner to sue for infringement even where the defendant did not copy the design. If a registration is not obtained, the owner of the design would need to depend on a design right, which only lasts for ten years from the end of the year of first exploitation; or where applicable, copyright (for example, where an artistic work is involved). In the case both of design right and copyright, the owner would need to prove that the defendant had copied the design in order to succeed in an infringement action. Obtaining a registered design is a fairly short and inexpensive. Registration indicates that the owner has incurred time and expense in protecting his design, which serves as a warning to others that the design is valued. From a commercial point of view, the fact of having a registration may help build up the reputation and goodwill relating to the product concerned, particularly when used with a strong trade mark.

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