protection > registered design
Facts about Registered Designs
If your idea is simply a new look for an existing type of product, like a table lamp that has no technical novelty, then design rights can be a cost-effective route to give you some protection.
A Registered Design protects the appearance of a product or device but it does not protect how it works. To protect that you need to get a Patent. We often get asked how to patent a design. The answer is that you can’t.
Unregistered design rights exist automatically, but you would have to prove that someone has copied your design. If you register your design with the UK IPO then the person who supposedly copied it must prove that they did not.
It currently costs around £50 to register a single design so this is a relatively low cost and quick way of protecting an idea. It is particularly relevant to things like clothing, furniture and decorative items like the lamp shown on the left, or products having a common function where the appearance is the key differentiator in the market.