If your idea is simply a new look for an existing product with no technical changes 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 canít. 

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 £60 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.

How we can help you

We can do a Registered Design and Patent Search and give you a report on any similar ideas that we find. This gives you the information that you need to decide on the best way of protecting your idea.  If you would like more help and advice then use our Discovery Review Service that includes free membership of the Enterprise Service. You can a pack for free by clicking on the Free Pack button above.

For more information about other forms of protection follow the links above to Patents, Copyright and Trade Marks. Also have a look at our IP Protection page and our IP FAQ page. To understand more about the details of Registered Design have a look at the book written by our experts the Dummies Guide to Intellectual Property

Registered Designs
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Other IP: PatentsCopyright - Trade Marks