Designs - UK, Europe and Internationally
Design protection is another fundamental area of intellectual property law and practice. Getting it right can significantly enhance your company’s IP value.
The design of an item in this context refers to the combination of lines, contours and/or shape that make up its outer appearance. It can also include its colour, texture, materials and/or its surface decoration. From a commercial point of view it can be thought of as the visual impact a product makes on the consumer.
Design protection is important as design enables the consumer to choose a product on the basis of aesthetics and to recognise that product over other similar items on the market.
A design can strongly affect the success of a product. The great success of many high tech goods can be traced to technological features but the brand leaders are also identifiable by their looks. The best products have aesthetic design too.
Combining Design Protection with Patents and Trade Marks
Design protection can be used separately from, and in combination with, patents and trade marks. We take a holistic approach, considering how each and all can be best used to protect our clients’ products.
Compared to patents, design filings are easy and inexpensive, yet in some fields offer all the protection you need. We will assist clients to choose how and when to take best advantage of this intellectual property option. We understand how to use multiple filings to reduce costs and how to file alternative versions of designs to protect separate features to achieve best cover.
We can file designs at home and abroad, taking advantage of the various grace periods that exist where necessary. We also enforce design protection through the courts and have this year been successful twice in the small claims track of the UK Patents County Court (now renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court).