In addition to the Design Register, which is maintained by the Intellectual Property Office, there are also provisions in the States of Guernsey for the protection of unregistered designs. The cost of registering designs is relatively low and the filing process is relatively quick (usually only one month), so registered designs are well suited for manufacturers seeking protection for products with short turnaround times. Applicants may defer publication of their design application for up to 12 months from the filing date, in order to obtain a filing date over time to market the product or, where appropriate, obtain a patent. We offer a comprehensive service for disputed and non-contentious design rights. If you think you have a problem with the right design, you can contact Roy Crozier directly via the details on the profile pages or by calling 0800 652 8025. Therefore, if your design is registered, you do not have to prove that your design was copied to prove the infringement. What you need to prove is a high degree of similarity between the registered design and the counterfeit design. Designs that are aesthetic or only about appearance may be subject to trademark or trade dress laws in addition to design rights. However, this may depend on each individual design. Official filing fees start at £40 for a deferred deposit and £60 for a standard deposit, but the legal fees for conducting relevant research and assisting with the deposit will be considerably higher. These rights contribute to the fact that the holder of the design is the only person who can benefit from the design application.
It can also help prevent cases of design violation. The design features of a product can be synonymous with a company`s brand image and image, and become an essential asset with monetary value. For example, Apple`s “I” products feature distinctive designs that differentiate their products from other MP3 players, mobile phones or tablets on the market. In the United Kingdom, designs are protected by three statutory rights: unregistered designs; Designs; and artistic copyright. A design registered in the United Kingdom gives the holder the exclusive right to make, offer, market, import, export, use or store any product to which the design has been applied or is incorporated. It also provides for the right to take legal action against other persons who may infringe the design and to claim damages for any infringement having an additional deterrent effect. The proprietor may also license the use of the design to third parties on terms commercially agreed in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. Like trademark registrations, design rights can only be registered in the United Kingdom; or in the EU (via a single application to the European Intellectual Property Office); or worldwide through the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). As noted by the owners of the Trunki ride-on case design, it`s extremely important to consider the scope of what you`re recording and make sure it covers all the important features of the design you`re recording. For example, if the same basic drawing appears in different variants, such as the suitcase, where the same basic drawing can be presented in the form of different animals, it is advisable to save a number of drawings that show each variation.
As with trademarks, it`s important to conduct research to determine if there`s something identical or similar on the market. If the designs are considered new and no similar results are found, an application may be filed with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office accompanied by representations of the design, including all relevant views to be protected (e.g. front, back and sides). A registered design protects the visual appearance of a product or object and gives you exclusive rights to that appearance to the extent that there is a legal right, if necessary, to prevent an unauthorized person from creating or using your design. These deadlines and dates are important to respect in patent litigation proceedings. For example, if a person claims that his patent rights are infringed by another party, his claim is unlikely to exist if it is established that his patent has actually expired. The right in an unregistered design is similar to copyright in that it results from the creation of a design. It protects the shape and configuration of the design of 3D objects from being copied by others.
As with copyright, the first owner of the unregistered design right in the United Kingdom is the creator of the design, unless the design is created in the course of a person`s employment, in which case the owner is the employer. These rights help deter others from infringing patents. A patent can be obtained by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This procedure is often detailed and requires many different requirements that must be met. A patent usually has a term of 20 years and can be used in various fields of technology and industry. Community law on unregistered designs grants protection to qualified designs only for three years, i.e. three years from the date on which they were first made available to the public in the Community. The scope of what can be protected under the unregistered Community design differs significantly from what can be protected under the unregistered design of the United Kingdom. For example, the unregistered Community design may include designs of colour, texture and materials. It aims to protect the appearance of a product and may include two-dimensional designs. It protects designs that are “new and have individual character”.
The person can also be prosecuted if they try to create a similar drawing based on the original drawing. However, various limitations are associated with it. This position represents a new change in the law. Prior to 2014, every “commissioned” design belonged to whoever commissioned it. This is no longer the case, so if someone who is not your employee designs a product on your behalf, it is important to make a written assignment of the design rights to that product to ensure that you get all relevant rights to it. For better protection, you can register your design. To do this, your design must meet the eligibility criteria of being new and having “individual character”. Designs which are determined solely by the technical function of the product in question or which are contrary to ordre public or morality may not be registered. The protection granted to the holder of an unregistered design is different from that granted to a registered design. When deciding whether or not to register your design, you should be carefully considered, along with the reference to the Bailiwick of Guernsey 2005. The Intellectual Property Office can provide you with public information on unregistered designs, but for advice on the interpretation of the law, it may be necessary to seek professional legal advice.
It will sometimes make economic sense to separate a design right within a separate business unit from the rest of a business. Should something happen to the entire company, control over design rights and future use can be maintained. In addition, the design right may be transferred to a commercial entity in a less taxed country where royalties or royalties may be collected. A registered design right is infringed if your design is reproduced by a third party. In the case of unregistered protection, you must prove that your design has been copied. Once the design rights have been obtained, they grant the holder design rights. This means that an external party can be sued if it uses the protected design without the owner`s permission.