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Registered Design

Registered_Designs

Registered Design

Registered Design

The last two years have seen an unprecedented increase in counterfeit products entering the EU, which has put registered designs at the forefront of the fight to stop them.

We are filing and prosecuting an increasing number of registered design applications for our clients, and more importantly, enforcing them more and more against importers bringing in fakes from the Far East. We also have experience in obtaining similar rights around the world.  

Please see the various pages in this section for further information.

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What is a registered design?

What is a registered design?

Registered designs protect the aesthetic appearance of products. They are therefore of most relevance to those who make products in which the value is closely associated with the visual appeal, such as clothing, watches, wallpaper or so on. However, aesthetics can play a role in any product which is seen when it is purchased or used, and if you invest time and effort in the industrial design of your products, then you can protect that with registered designs.

Registered designs actually protect the design as applied to a product, rather than the product itself, and this design can be broken down into different parts, some of which can be the subject of protection while others may not. If an element of a design is dictated by its technical function, or the requirement to fit something else, then it is not protectable. The designer must have had creative freedom. For example, in an alloy car wheel the rim would not be protected because it must be that radius and depth to support the tyre, and the hub would also not be protected because it must be so shaped to fit onto the car. However, the spokes between the hub and the rim are protectable because the designer is free to make them in any shape.

Most products made available on the open market have been the subject of some design work, which at least in part could be protected. As registered designs are relatively cheap and easy to obtain, they can provide a good level of protection against the unscrupulous who make fake versions of your products, as well as legitimate rivals who allow the design aesthetic of their products to drift too close to yours.

If you would like to know more about registered designs please contact us using the link on the left.

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Applications

Applications

The filing and prosecuting of registered design applications, both in the UK and in the EU, is something we do regularly for our clients.

As with all registered rights, it is necessary to go through an application process. It is vital to adopt the right strategy with the images which form the basis for the protection, and that is where the experience of an attorney counts. Registered design applications are not examined on their substantial merits, so any applicant getting the formalities right but the images wrong, could end up without the protection actually required. At Baron Warren Redfern we have experience of obtaining registered designs of all different kinds for our clients, and our approach is tailored by our experience of having to enforce those registrations. We know what works in practice, and what does not.

While registered designs have a clearly defined role, they are often relied upon as a secondary level of protection behind patents, and even trade marks. As such, registered designs are often considered in the context of other IP rights, and at Baron Warren Redfern we ensure that our clients are fully informed of all their different options.

If you would like to know more about filing a registered design application please contact us using the link on the left.

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Costs

Costs

There are various possible costs associated with registering and enforcing a registered design.

An application for a registered design in any jurisdiction is relatively inexpensive. The total cost in such situations is determined by the geographic coverage required. The cost of an application in the UK is low. A similar application to cover the whole of the EU costs a little over twice as much, but is still very cost-effective. If protection is required in the US, China, Japan, India and so on, then the costs will be greater. Our clients are advised of the costs of applying for protection abroad when they consult with us on their choices, and if you would like to know more then please contact us.

The costs associated with enforcing registered design rights against infringers vary enormously. In some cases simple communication with the other side achieves the desired result, while in others it is necessary to take more serious legal action. The most important thing is to ensure that the expenditure is cost-effective and worthwhile for you and your business. At Baron Warren Redfern we are fortunate to represent both big companies as well as SMEs and start-ups, so our attorneys are well placed to give you the best strategic advice when it comes to achieving value for money in any particular situation.

If you want to know more about the costs of dealing with any registered design matter you have, please contact us and we will be pleased to help.

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Foreign

Foreign

Registered designs only provide protection in the territory where they are granted. A UK registration will only protect a design here, and in order to obtain protection abroad further applications must be filed in the territories required.

In some cases foreign countries can be grouped together, for example in the EU, where it is possible to obtain a single unitary registration. As European Design Attorneys we handle such applications regularly.

With regard to separate foreign national applications we have associate agents in every country in the world who handle applications for our clients in their territories when required. We have long standing working relationships with our foreign agents, and our clients benefit from the advantages this brings. We only use agents whose services we have thoroughly tried and tested, and which have proven to be cost-effective and efficient.

If you would like to know more about filing foreign registered design applications please contact us using the link on the left.

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Infringement

Infringement

Registered designs exist to prevent others copying the design of your product. Access to cost-effective and efficient enforcement services is therefore vital if your registered design is to serve its purpose.

If someone copies the design of your product, either intentionally or inadvertently, it can cause you to lose sales, and in the worst cases damage your reputation by flooding the market with cheap copies. It is the kind of problem which needs to be dealt with quickly and decisively, and we have a lot of experience of doing just that. 

In most cases it does not prove necessary to go to court. If a registered design owner wants to put a stop to an infringer’s activities, in many cases a simple cease and desist letter will achieve the desired result. If not, it may be necessary to begin the initial steps of bringing an infringement action in the Patents County Court or the High Court, which places such pressure on infringers that they often capitulate. The costs of taking such initial steps are easily within the means of most registered design owners.

Suing for infringement, or threatening to do so, is not the only solution. Instead revenue can be generated by granting the infringer a licence, or even selling them your registered design. Other agreements are also possible, such as amicable co-existence, or a one-off financial settlement. Every situation is different, and it is a question of employing the right strategy to obtain the best result for you.

If you would like to know more about enforcing registered designs please contact us using the link on the left.

Rapid Response

Email us and we WILL endeavour to reply within 1 working day

1 Hour Free Consultation

To all new clients to discuss their requirements

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Fiona Scott

UK & European Patent Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Max Stacey

Partner - Uk & European Trade Mark Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Irena Kantor

UK & European Trade Mark Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Michael Robinson

European Design Attorney

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Gareth Ashton

UK & European Patent Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Jerry Bridge-Butler

Partner - UK & European Patent Attorney; UK & European Trade Mark Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Douglas Johnstone

Partner - UK & European Patent Attorney; European Design Attorney

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Susan Murgatroyd

Partner - UK & European Patent Attorney; European Design Attorney

1 Hour Free Consultation

We offer an hour's free consultation to all new clients to discuss their requirements. If you would like to set up a meeting, please call us, or use the form opposite to leave your details so that we can contact you.

With our Rapid Response guarantee email us and we will endeavour to reply within 1 working day.