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UNITARY PATENT

In 2012 Member States and the European Parliament agreed on the "patent package" - a legislative initiative consisting of two...

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Designs & Copyright

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We offer comprehensive
advice on the protection
of product design and design features, including product shape, packaging, labelling
and get-up.

Design Protection

Innovative product design merits protection. We have internationally recognised expertise in handling UK and European designs, and assist in design protection and enforcement worldwide.

We help you identify and secure rights in design features involving the appearance of a product or its ornamentation, all the way from shape to colour and get-up. We advise on:

  • Which features to protect, where, when and why
  • The impact of disclosure and grace periods
  • Unregistered design rights
  • Length of registered and unregistered monopolies
  • Effective protection strategies in markets of interest or worldwide
  • Commercial exploitation of design rights, including licensing and licences of right 

Design protection now embraces features like labels and get-up that used to be protectable only as trade marks or copyright matter. We can identify these features and are experienced at outlining protection strategies that derive maximum advantage from the different options available.

Enforcement

Registered design protection can be a formidable weapon against competitor encroachment. Unlike copyright, registered design protection can be infringed where a competitor arrives at a similar design independently, without copying. 

The potential advantages in enforcement make registered designs an attractive means of protecting new product features and ornamentation.  Registered designs are a powerful tool in obtaining seizure of infringing goods at customs and at trade fairs.  

Our team of Patent Attorneys and Registered Trade Mark and Design Litigators are experienced in handling enforcement matters before the courts, as well as in resolving them before trial through pre-action correspondence, negotiations and mediation. 

Copyright and Database Rights

Copyright subsists in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as well as films and broadcasts.  Tables, compilations and computer programs (including their preparatory design materials) are included in literary works.  Graphic works, photographs, sculptures and collages are included in artistic works, irrespective of artistic quality, as are works of architecture.  Databases benefit from protection where there has been substantial investment in their compilation, but care needs to be taken to document that investment. 

We counsel on all aspects of copyright law and management, including identification of copyright works, term of protection, the drafting and use of copyright notices and the transfer and licensing of copyright works, including agreements. 

We review new product designs and packaging with an eye to identifying copyright matter that can strengthen an overall portfolio of rights. We counsel on effective action against copyright infringement including seizure and detention of infringing goods.