Design rights

The UK has some of the world's top designers who create amazing products, so don't miss out on the opportunity to protect and exploit your designs.

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What are design rights?

Design rights are rights in how a product looks. The product can be either two- or three-dimensional.      

How do design rights arise?

'Unregistered' design rights arise automatically on creation of the product.  

Provided that the design is new and original you can also apply for it to be 'registered' in the UK , EU or internationally.

What do design rights do?

Design rights prevent others from copying them.

Registering a design means that no one else can use it, even if they claim to have come up with the same design independently.

How long do design rights last?

If a registered design is granted it will last for up to 25 years but needs to be renewed every five years.

Unregistered design rights last for 10 years in the UK, and three years in the EU, from the end of the first year that the product is first marketed.  

How can I protect my design rights?

Register your design by filling in the appropriate forms and sending your application to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Note you cannot apply online. The fee is £60 for the initial application and £40 per design in any multiple application.

When you share your valuable confidential information, including registered and unregistered design rights, with another business, consider using an appropriate confidentiality agreement. Use Rocket Lawyer’s simple interview process to create a mutual Confidentiality agreement or a One-way confidentiality agreement, depending on whether one or both parties are sharing confidential information.

Make sure your agreements with independent consultants have the necessary provisions relating to IP created in the course of working for you. 

If a party breaches your design rights, consider issuing a Cease and desist letter to protect your intellectual property.


Get started

Register a trademark

Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest