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Design Rights Solicitors In London

Waterfront Solicitors are intellectual property experts, helping our clients to navigate the complexities in design right law, design protection and IP law.

For some businesses, design rights whether registered or unregistered, can form a large part of their intellectual property rights portfolio. This is particularly so in the fashion and luxury goods, consumer goods and engineering sectors.  

What are Design Rights?

Design rights cover both registered design and unregistered design:

What is an unregistered design? - If a design meets certain criteria, it will be entitled to be protected by unregistered design right, an automatic IP protection, which applies to original design, protecting the design from being copied by another person.

What is a registered design? - When you register a design, you obtain a time-limited right giving notice to others that you owner that design, which prevents others from using any design which does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression without your permission.   

Design Rights Law

Overlaps between UK and EU law mean that there are no less than four differing design rights. These rights also overlap with design copyright, making designs a particularly tricky area of intellectual property law. The rights protect the shape of the whole, or part, of a 2 or 3 dimensional product design. Unregistered design rights last between three and fifteen years, whereas registered designs can last up to twenty-five years.

Intellectual property rights in design can be owned by the designer, the designer’s employer, or the individual or company commissioning the design - depending upon the circumstances of their creation. Getting the right commercial contracts and/or employment contracts in place to govern the ownership of those rights is very important.

Securing design rights enable you to protect your creative investment by preventing your competitors from infringing upon your rights.

What Areas Can Our Design Rights Lawyers Help You With?

Our IP law team has extensive experience in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious design matters and design right disputes. Some of our lawyers were involved in some of the very first cases that came before the courts soon after the relevant rights were created. We can guide our clients through the legal maze to help them achieve the best commercial results.

Our recent experience in this area includes:

  • Acting for a leading UK fashion designer in respect of certain design right infringements of their fashion accessories.
  • Acting for a world leading supplier of dance and exercise equipment in a large number of High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court proceedings brought in the UK over the last few years against importers and retailers of unregistered design right infringing products.  We also have coordinated the client’s anticounterfeiting activities worldwide with action being undertaken in territories as diverse as China, Russia, Norway, France and the Netherlands.
  • Acting for a manufacturer of fashion products in the defence of claims brought by a well-known international luxury goods manufacturer. The matter has been resolved on favourable terms.
  • Acting for an importer of electrical goods in defending claims of design right infringement by a brand-leading headphone manufacturer.
  • Acting for a client in litigation in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court concerning alleged infringement of UK registered designs relating to its anti-intrusion product designed to protect boats from pirate attacks.
  • Acting for a Swedish hose and pipe tool manufacturer company bringing claims against a UK manufacturer.

Our intellectual property lawyers, based in London, use their expertise in copyright law and design law to maximise the chances of success in any dispute concerning these IP rights. We serve to a wide range of businesses, ranging from start-ups, to SME’s, to individual creators, to large multinational companies.

Contact Our Design Rights Solicitors Today

If you would like further advice about design protection, design rights in generally or general intellectual property protection, please contact our intellectual property team on 020 7234 0200 or contact us online for a free initial chat.