Designs

As distinct from patents, design protection covers the appearance of the whole or part of a product rather than the way it works.  The features of the design may include its shape or its surface decoration or colours.

Unregistered Design Protection

In the UK there is an automatic protection, known as UK design right.  This is generally available only to designs created by European Union citizens.  It gives a period of protection of ten years, but with any person being entitled to take a licence with a reasonable royalty in the last five years.

Under European Union law, there is another form of automatic design protection, known as unregistered Community Design.  This has a relatively short period of protection, which is three years. 

Both forms of unregistered design protection require proof of ownership and copying if they are to be enforced.  For our summary on unregistered designs, please select from the left hand menu.

Registered Design Protection

By registering a design an owner can obtain a longer term of protection of up to twenty-five years and does not have to show copying for enforcement.  National UK registered designs are available, as well as registered Community designs, which cover all EU countries.  For our summary on registered designs, please select from the left hand menu.

Further Information

For more detailed information please refer to our briefing notes:


If you have a specific design query that you would like to discuss with us, please:

Email us at mail@dehns.com

call us at:

London:T: +44 207 632 7200
Brighton:T: +44 1273 244200
Oxford:T: +44 1865 305100
Munich:T: +49 89 242281 30


or complete our online enquiry form

Practising in this area
Alexander Piésold
Senior Partner
London
David Leckey
Partner
Brighton
Alison Hague
Partner
London
John Tothill
Partner
Brighton
Robert Jackson
Partner
London
Philip Jeffrey
Partner
Brighton
Matthew Hall
Partner
London
Katherine Mabey
Partner
Brighton
Andrew Chiva
Partner
Brighton
Laura Ramsay
Partner
Oxford
James Hull
Partner
Brighton
Adam Taylor
Partner
London
Michael Butler
Consultant
Oxford
Jason Stevens
Associate
London
Stephen Gardiner
Associate
Oxford
Sally Magrath
Associate
London
Tim Wilson
Associate
Oxford
Mark Bell
Associate
Oxford
Download PDF versionDownload team sheet:
Designs Group