Home  |  About Us  |  Patents  |  Trade Marks  |  Industrial Designs  |  FAQs  |  Resources  |  Links  |  Contact Us


We Protect Inventions, Innovations and Brands in United Kingdom, Europe,and around the World

Industrial Designs

Registered designs protect the outward appearance of a product, rather than how it works. Design registrations are a cost effective way of obtaining protection for new consumer products.

An industrial design is the outward appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and materials of the product or its ornamentation. Designs can be registered for many products, for example , handsets, toys, tools, dispensers, cameras, office equipment, bathroom equipment, torches and consumer products.

Designs protect the shape and appearance of a range of products ranging from artistic works such as sculptures, industrial products, furniture items, consumer goods, automotive components, furniture, building structures, clothing items, and packaging. Almost any product which incorporates some element of original design is potentially protectable by designs law.

Although most countries of the world have a protection regime for dealing with industrial or commercial consumer designs, in general, design law is not unified across different countries of the world.

In Europe, design rights can be divided into two categories: Unregistered rights, where there is no official registration system, and Registered rights, where the rights are registered with a national patent office or regional industrial property office.

In general, unregistered rights grant a lower degree of protection with a higher burden of proof for enforcement, compared with registered rights. Therefore, even where unregistered rights exist it is almost always advisable to apply to register a design, to achieve a stronger form of right, for a longer duration.

In Europe, there are some exceptions as to what can be protected by design rights. These exceptions center around features of design which are intended to match or fit other commercial products, or which are dictated solely by their function.

Generally, the scope of design right is judged relative to other previously known designs in the same design field. Consequently, where a new design is a significant departure from previous designs, a relatively wider scope of protection can be expected than where a design is an incremental improvement over a large body previously existing designs. Nevertheless, even in congested design field such as the design of sanitary fittings, taps, faucets and the like, it is still possible for innovative designers to build up a formidable portfolio of registered and unregistered design rights to establish a strong intellectual property position in the market place, at reasonable cost.

We are able to file registered design applications in the UK and across Europe as a single application. We also file registered design applications elsewhere in the world through our network of associate industrial design attorneys and agents. We offer comprehensive advice on the protection of product design and design features, including labels, product shape and get-up.

At the development stage, we help you identify and safeguard potential future design rights and navigate the rules on disclosure and grace periods with an eye to achieving protection. We can secure the right protection in the countries that matter to you, and aid in enforcing those rights, whether registered or unregistered, against competitor encroachment. We have internationally recognized expertise in handling United Kingdom and European industrial designs, and assist in industrial design protection and enforcement worldwide.

Click here for filing an application for registration of an industrial design in the United Kingdom.


| Home | About Us | FAQs | Resources | Links | Patents | Trademarks | Industrial Designs | Contact Us |

Copyright 2008 MACIPO & ASSOCIATES All Rights Reserved.