Whereas patents protect a clever idea such as the way a new gadget works, or the operating principle of a machine or algorithm, registered designs protect the aesthetics or look of an item. So, if you've designed a new item such as a bag, an item of jewellery, an item of clothing etc, then a registered design gives you a monopoly that will help stop competitors from using your design in their own products.
Registered designs are not just for fashion or consumer items. They can also protect more industrial items. As long as the design is visible when the item is in normal use, then it may qualify for protection.
Registered designs are a relatively low cost way of protecting an item, and the application process is straigntforward and much faster than with patents. Protection lasts up to 25 years, with renewal intervals of five years.
As registered designs protect different aspects of an item to that of a patent, it may be appropriate to protect your idea or product using both forms of IP.
Get in touch with us to discuss whether your design is suitable for registration.
Trade Marks protect the branding of products and businesses, and are valuable to give your brand a clear identity, and to help prevent others from using your reputation for their own benefit.
We can advise on how trade marks can benefit your business, and can handle the filings for you.
Download our Brief Guide to Registered Designs (pdf).