Unregistered Design Rights
In the UK two types of unregistered rights in designs exist, one from UK Statute and one from European law.
UK Design Right
Like copyright, UK design right arises automatically, and provides protection for the internal or external shape or configuration of an original design. The design right does not protect any two-dimensional aspects of the design, such as texture or pattern, but these aspects may be protected by EU unregistered design right or by copyright.
UK design right lasts 15 years from creation of the design or 10 years from first marketing of products made to the design, whichever period expires earlier.
Like copyright, UK design right can be used to prevent third parties copying the design, but does not provide exclusive rights to use of the design.
Unregistered Community Designs
Unregistered Community design right is an automatic right that protects the overall appearance of a product, in particular the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of a product. For unregistered design right to exist the design must be new and have individual character when the design is first made available to the public.
The right lasts for three years from the date the design is first made available to the public.
Like copyright, unregistered Community design right can be used to prevent third parties copying the design.
We are able to advise on exploitation and enforcement of both UK design right and unregistered Community design right.
Please contact us for a consultation.