Printed from the Field Fisher Waterhouse web site
Web address: http://www.ffw.com/areas_of_expertise/intellectual_property/design_rights.aspx

Practices

Design rights

In modern commerce, design plays an ever-increasing role in achieving competitive edge and enhancing profits. The fashion industry is a good example, with designers seeking to capture and keep consumer interest with changing styles and innovation. The same applies in the world of technology - where items such as MP3 players, telephones and computers compete just as much on overall aesthetics as on technical function. Design law has been changing too with simplified procedures tailored to designers’ needs for speed and simplicity of protection. Brand owners cannot afford to ignore designs and they need to be considered as part of all trade mark protection strategies.

Our service

With the largest team of lawyers specialising in trade marks and design rights in any filing practice in the UK, we can advise on every aspect from filing to enforcement. We can provide a high quality and competitively priced service to meet your needs.

There are four different ways in which a design can be protected:

  • Registered Community Designs (RCD) - which cover the whole of the EU
  • UK Registered Designs - which cover the UK only
  • UK Design Right (unregistered) - an automatically-arising right which can be used to prevent copying in the UK
  • Unregistered Community Designs (UCD) - an automatically-arising right which can be used to prevent copying in Europe

Registered Community designs and UK registered designs provide an exclusive right to use and prevent any third party from using it without the owner’s consent, while an unregistered design only provides protection against copying. In addition, the fact that the right is registered confers on the design great certainty should infringement occur.

The protection afforded by registration can also last for a significantly longer period than unregistered design rights.

We have developed a simple guide to protecting designs together with standard fees to ensure that the process is simple, streamlined and effective – just like a good design should be. 

Our large team of lawyers specialise in design right filing and we also have a dedicated group of specialist intellectual property litigators. Our mission is to provide you with a high quality, competitively priced design registration and enforcement service that responds to your requirements. We can advise you on every aspect from filing to enforcement.