In some cases the most appropriate way to protect a design is to apply for Registered Design Rights. This is much more cost effective than a patent and only takes a few weeks. However while registered design rights offers protection for the overall shape or form of a product, it does not offer protection for individual features or mechanisms. If you would like to know more about the options available to protect your intellectual property take a look at the government website.
How do you register a design?
Having a registered design offers a good level of protection for the shape and configuration of a product. The current cost (December 2018) for registering a single design online is £50. However you can register up to 10 designs for a total of £70. Each block of 10 designs (up to a maximum of 50 per application) cost an additional £20. More information on registering a design and current costs can be found here.
The process is relatively simple. Describe your product, add a few optional notes and then upload up to 12 images of the product. Then its a simple case of registering your personal or company details and making the payment.
Design Registration Tips
Images are the most important part of your registered design application. There are a few rules to be aware of…
- All images mus be of the same style, either…
- Product Photo
- CAD Render
- Line Drawing (either CAD or by hand)
- The images must not contain any distracting background
- A plain white background is ideal
- There must be no props in the images
- If your product is a phone holder, only show the product, not the phone as well.
- Do not include and text or other annotations
- this includes notes and dimensions
Materials and Colours
If your images show your design in a particular colour, or made from a particular material but it could be made in any colour from a selection of materials it is important to add the wording…
No claim is made for colour or material
Register as many designs or iterations as you can….
Think about different variations to your designs, different outlines, different configurations etc. Registering a single design costs £50… but registering 10 designs cost £70… you may as well get some value for money and register up to 10 designs… The advantage of registering more than one design at a time is Cost Reduction.
Say for example you have 10 designs to register, you can save £430 (93%) by registering all 10 designs at the same time, which will cost £70, as opposed to £500 if you register each design separately.
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