This guide was last updated in January 2018.
UK registered designs cover England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man and are primarily governed by the Registered Designs Act 1949.
A UK registered design grants the owner a monopoly right for the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials of the product or its ornamentation.
To be registrable a design must be new and have individual character. To be new, the design is required to differ from known designs by more than "immaterial details". To have individual character a design must create a different overall impression on an informed user, who is normally a technically sophisticated user of the class of products and who is neither a designer or a manufacturer. Although a design application can be filed up to one year after the design has been made public, it is preferable that a design application is filed as soon as the design is created.
A Design Registration can last up to 25 years (the Registration has to be renewed every five years within the 25 year period).Under the Paris Convention, it is possible for applicants in signatory countries to claim a priority date within 6 months of applying for the same design in the UK. This essentially means the date of the applicant's earlier design will be accepted as the date of filing the later design application.
Information required to file application:
- Full name and address of applicant;
- Country and state, if appropriate, of incorporation of the applicant;
- Two good representations of the design (including all views of design);
- Indication of the product to which the design is applied;
- Details of application on which Convention Priority is to be claimed, if any; and
- Partial disclaimer if appropriate.
The application must also be accompanied by the prescribed fee (£50 for one online application or £60 for one postal application).
Additional fees apply if the application is for more than one design.