Design rights are intellectual property rights that protect the visual appearance of products or parts of products.
There are a number of different regimes for protecting designs, including registered and unregistered design rights in the United Kingdom and the European Community. Each regime has different rules and requirements, but all give the owner of the design right the ability to prevent others from dealing in products with similar designs for a limited period of time. Design rights can be valuable assets for businesses in a wide variety of industry sectors, but are often overlooked in comparison with the “better known” intellectual property rights such as patents, copyright and trade marks.
We advise clients on the existence of unregistered design rights and the registration of designs under the UK and European regimes, as well as the licensing and enforcement of such rights. We also advise clients on the full range of design disputes, including infringement, validity, ownership and licensing disputes.
Recent examples of our work include:
- Assisting the Juratoys Group on a number of design right infringement issues, as part of it global IP enforcement programme.
- Advising a major UK door furniture company on a range of infringement issues.
- Obtaining an interim injunction on behalf of a multinational tobacco company in respect of counterfeit products
- Representing a manufacturer or Ship-to-Shore communication systems in a High Court claim for unregistered design right infringement