Maguire Boss
Maguire Boss



In general, a design protects the appearance of a product rather than its function. There are two types of design protection - registered and unregistered.

Registered designs offer monopoly protection for a limited period, usually up to 25 years from the date of filing an application for registration.  Registered designs allow the owner to stop others using the design but do not provide an automatic right to exploit the design.  A registered design covering the UK may be obtained either by filing an application for a UK registered design or a Registered Community Design (or “RCD”) application covering all EU member states. 

Unregistered design right is an automatic right which applies, subject to qualifications, once a new design is created.  However, it only affords protection against copying and is thus sometimes referred to as copyright.  UK unregistered design right protection may be limited to just ten years from first marketing of the design with "licences of right" being available to any third party in the final five years of the term of protection.  Community unregistered design right protection is limited to just three years from publication of the design.

We prepare and prosecute registered design applications for both direct clients and overseas associates.  We also advise and assist with enforcement of design rights (including infringement advice).

For further advice on designs please contact us:

Tel:+44(0)1480 301588 | |

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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided on the website is accurate and up-to-date, please contact us to obtain advice before taking any action based on this information.