UK Registered Design v Unregistered Design Right

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UK Registered DesignUK Unregistered Design Right (UDR)
How to Get itYou need to file an application at the UK IPO and pay a fee. If accepted, your application is registeredUDR arises automatically as soon as the design is created
When to take actionIdeally, file before you disclose your design since if you want to protect the design outside the EU this will protect your rights.

However, there is a 12 month “grace period” allowed for the designer to disclose their design but still obtain UK registration

None needed, since UDR arises automatically. However dated copies of all design documents should be kept safely
What criteria does the design need to have to qualify?Novel : must differ from earlier designs by more than immaterial details

Individual Character : must create a different overall impression relative to any earlier design

Novel : must differ from earlier designs by more than immaterial details

Not commonplace

What sort of design is covered?Any feature of shape, configuration, lines, contour, colour, texture, material or ornamentation for the whole or part of an articleThe shape or configuration of the whole or part of an article

 

Any exceptions?1) Features dictated solely by function

2) Complex products and spare parts

1) Surface decoration

2) Method or principle of construction

3) Feature to match another article

How long does it last?Up to 25 years

(Initially 5 years, but extendable in 5 year periods upon payment of a fee)

Up to 15 years from the end pf the calendar year in which the design was first recorded in a document or made, but limited to 10 years from the first sale of the product, if earlier.

The last 5 years of the UDR is “licence of right” so anybody can ask for a licence on reasonable terms.

What protection does it give?Exclusive use to make, use, sell, import or export an article embodying the design in the UK

Would cover independent design which is identical or only different in trivial details

Right to prevent unauthorised copying of the design in the UK, and also unauthorised dealing of the design in the UK whether the dealer knows that the design is an infringement