When is company design your intellectual property? All the answers you need are in the second article in Natasha Maddock's Q&A series.
Intellectual property rights allow your business to protect its ideas, inventions and creations from being stolen or copied. But do you know enough about their legal implications?
In this series, Natasha Maddock explains the essentials of the four main types of intellectual property rights and offers some practical guidance to help make sure your businesses creations are fully protected.
This week: Design.
Q. What are designs?
A. Designs relate to the external appearance of a product, such as its decoration, shape, contours, colour(s), texture and lines. If a product has a novel shape or pattern, it may be possible to protect it as a design. Design protection in the UK breaks down into three legal rights - registered design, design right and copyright.
Q. Can I register a design?
A. Yes, although there's no legal requirement to apply for a registered design, it may be wise to do so if the more limited protection given by a design right isn't enough for your needs.
Q. What will it cost to obtain a registered design?
A. You will need to pay fees to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and speak to your lawyer about making an application. The application costs £60 to apply to register a single design or the first design in any multiple applications. For each additional design in any multiple applications, the cost is £40 per design.
Q. How long will a registered design last for?
A. Five years initially, although it is renewable for further five year periods up to a maximum of 25 years.
Next week: patents.