Explanation of unregistered and registered design rights

Unregistered Design Rights

  • As the creator of a design you have certain rights in that design without taking any further action, this is know as an unregistered design right.
  • If you own an unregistered design right you can prevent anyone else from copying or exploiting that design. This protection extends to β€˜the design of any aspect of the shape or configuration(whether internal or external) of the whole or part of an article.’
  • There are limits though as only the three dimensional shape of that article or design is protected and it is not a monopoly right, you have to prove direct copying.
  • This can be tricky in practice and difficult to enforce.

Registered Design Rights

  • You can improve the protection afforded to your design by registering it.
  • Registered design rights can be used to protect the appearance of a product or any part of it provided it has individual character.
  • Both the two and three dimensional aspects of a product or design are protected so this includes surface decorations, lines, contours, colours, shapes, textures, materials or ornamentation.
  • As the owner of a registered design right you have a monopoly right and can prevent anyone else from using the design and can control and manage how a design is used and exploited.

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