Registered designs are cheap and straightforward to obtain, with protection being granted almost immediately in the UK and Europe. Although they are limited to the appearance of a product, they can be an effective tool to help protect against third parties producing identical (or sometimes similar) looking products.

It is important to register designs early; although there is a six month grace period in the UK and Europe, it is advisable to file a design application before a product is launched.

“A registered design protects the visual appearance of a product including the shape, texture, materials, colour and pattern. It is relatively inexpensive, costing from just £60 for a single design and £40 for any additional designs on the same application. This was especially useful for These Please who have a large collection of designs in different colours.”