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How To Legally Protect Your Designs And Intellectual Property

How To Legally Protect Your Designs And Intellectual Property

October 23, 2017

The appearance of your website, logo, or products is of paramount importance for the success of your business.

Design registration is available to protect the visual appearance of a product, or aspects of it, such as its shape and packaging, or the surface decoration of goods. Even logos may be registered. Great design is an essential asset. Just think of the iPod or the Dyson vacuum cleaner. So, if you want to keep ahead of the competition you need to protect your creative innovations.

Design protection is often overlooked. However, it is a powerful tool to protect your market share and to prevent competitors from copying your ideas.


Although you automatically get some unregistered design protection, registering your designs gives you stronger rights.

One benefit of design protection is that if someone else is using a similar design you don’t need to prove that they copied your design. You can stop them using a similar design because your registration gives you a legal monopoly over that design for up to 25 years.

Fulton, the famous UK umbrella manufacturer, was able to put a stop to its competitors’ copying of its successful small rectangular umbrella thanks to design protection. Even small changes of the design were not enough to avoid infringing its famous design.

The images and drawings in your application identify the nature and extent of the design protection. As the Trunki case shows, the design application needs to be carefully considered by an expert if you are to get the scope of protection you need to stop copycats.

The registration process is straightforward. International conventions enable a single application to protect the design in numerous countries worldwide. The important consideration is whether your application will give you an adequate scope of protection, and for that you should seek professional help.