The rights are therefore more limited, and are simply to prevent other people from copying your original design. Designs which can be protected by Design Right must relate to the 3D shape or configuration of an article. To be protected, the design must be original and “not commonplace”. Features enabling the article to be able interact functionally (such as the 3 pins of a plug which need to fit into the socket) are excluded, as are features which allow aesthetic matching to another article.
The term of protection is also more limited – being either 10 years from first marketing of the design or 15 years after its recordal, whichever expires earlier. For the last 5 years of this term if anyone asks for a licence, the licence has to be given, though you can negotiate the terms of that licence with this.
A shorter European Community Unregistered Design Right also exists, but only gives a term of 3 years from the date when the design was made known to the public in the EEA.
Want to compare UK Unregistered Design Right with Registered Designs? Check out our guide: UK Registered Design & UDR
Top Tip: Make sure that you record your design properly – this is crucial to show that your Design Right is in force.