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For a design to be registrable, it must be new and have individual character. The design must be new in the sense that no identical design has been made available to the public; and the design must have individual character in that the “overall impression” of the design is different from the appearance of known designs.


In order to apply for a UK design registration we must submit the appropriate forms together with illustrations of your design, which will include several different views. We ask that you provide line drawings depicting your design, but it is also possible to file photographs or a sample of the design. It is possible to include multiple designs in a single application as a series, provided that the designs are linked to the same type of goods.


The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) will examine your application and check that it meets formal requirements. Unlike patent applications, they will not examine to see whether there are identical or similar designs already on the Designs Register. The Examiner may raise objections to the application and we will be given the opportunity to overcome these objections. If no objections are raised and your application is successful, your application will be accepted for registration and the details will be published by the UKIPO in the Electronic Designs Journal.


Your design registration initially lasts for five years from the date of registration and can be renewed every five years for a maximum term of twenty five years. We will remind you of renewal deadlines and attend to the payment of renewal fees on your behalf.


If you are concerned about infringement of your design, we will be happy to advise you in more detail. In order to assess whether your registration is infringed, it is necessary to consider whether the alleged infringing product produces a different “overall impression” on the “informed user”. We have experience in the infringement and validity of registered designs. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this further.

It is also possible to apply to the UKIPO to invalidate someone else’s design registration. If you have concerns about a design, which you do not believe has been validly registered, we are happy to discuss this with you. For example, if we can show that the design was not new or did not have “individual character” at the time the registration was applied for, we can apply to have the design removed from the register.


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