In the United Kingdom, there are various options available to help inventors, creators and authors protect their intellectual property rights. Unlike patents, trade marks and copyright, designs are an often overlooked feature of the IP system, whether as a means of protection or enforcement. Designs can exist in both registered and unregistered form, with different criteria determining the subsistence of those rights in each case. Following Brexit, additional UK unregistered rights have been created in order to mitigate potential inconsistencies in protection across the EU and UK. While the picture can appear complicated, designs are an affordable and powerful asset that should form part of every intellectual property portfolio. Our IP team have written an exclusive chapter for Lexology Getting The Deal Through, Designs 2022. This chapter provides an easily-digestible summary of the key features and legal requirements underpinning the UK design regime, as well as an outline of recent case law in the area.
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