Product designs are increasingly vital to the commercial success of businesses operating across a range of areas, including food & beverages, clothing, IT/tech, consumer products, packaging, fashion and jewellery.

A “design” generally refers to the appearance, shape or configuration of a product or part of it. If properly protected, design owners can stop others from copying their designs or otherwise dealing with infringing products.

If your business uses or relies on product designs, you should take steps to ensure that they are adequately protected. Our design solicitors can help protect your innovative designs at each stage, from design concept through to exploitation and enforcement.

Designs can be protected by registration or they may benefit from protection as unregistered design rights.

Broadly, unregistered design right protection extends to the shape and configuration of products, not surface decoration. Registered designs protect appearance resulting from a product’s features such as its contours and shape, colours and patterns, texture and ornamentation. Businesses may not realise that registered design protection can be obtained for items such as packaging, handicraft items, fashion garments, graphic symbols (including icons on a computer screen), graphical user interfaces and fonts, any of which could be key to differentiating a business from its competitors.

At Rix & Kay our IP solicitors advise clients on both forms of protection (registered and unregistered) in the UK and Europe, and have experience of securing protection for designs internationally.

Our services include:

If you have a query about whether your product design can be protected, or if you want to register a design, or think that your design rights are being infringed, the IP team at Rix & Kay can assist you. Please contact Tariq Sayfoo a Solicitor in our Corporate and Commercial team in our Brighton & Hove office on 01273 766917 or via e-mail or submit an online enquiry.