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Intellectual Property


Patents | Trade Marks | Designs

Design Protection Attorneys and Legal Advisors

Our registered designs group has internationally recognised expertise in handling the protection and enforcement of UK and European designs. We filed the first EU Community design in 2003.

Protecting your product’s design is a vital part of any intellectual property strategy. Our team of expert design filers are very experienced in this area of IP law and can guide through protecting and enforcing your own rights.


What are design rights?


Registered design protection protects features of a product – it can include its shape, surface decoration or colours. Design protection does not stretch to words, which can be registered as trade marks; nor the function of the product, which can be protected by patents.


Different types of design protection provide different levels of enforcement. While unregistered designs exist automatically, the highest level of protection is gained from a registered design right in a jurisdiction such as the UK or EU.


Securing and enforcing the appropriate design rights protection, whether registered or unregistered, will defend your creations against competitor encroachment.


For more information about registered designs, please see our information page here: About Registered Designs


Design protection legal advice


We can offer comprehensive advice on the protection of product designs and design features, including labels, product shape and decoration. Our attorneys can help to identify and safeguard potential future design rights and navigate the rules on disclosure and grace periods with an eye to achieving protection.


We can search for existing design rights and advise on their scope, as well as providing due diligence and freedom to operate exercises.


We advise on all aspects of design protection, including the following.


Design registration strategy advice

Firstly, we will advise you on which features of your design to protect and the best locations for you to register in. We have registered Design attorneys in the UK, Germany and Europe, and where we do not have registered offices, we have built up a network of foreign associate attorneys who will handle these foreign filings. 


Freedom to operate searching

Before deciding to register a design, we can search for existing design registrations and advise you on their scope, ensuring that your design does not infringe them. If there is a risk of infringement, we will work with you to change or improve your design to ensure it will not be opposed by an existing design right holder.


The application process

Once your freedom to operate has been established, we would then prepare the documents needed for your registration. These documents may include drawings, photographs or diagrams showing all aspects of the design.


Oppositions to your registration

In some cases, another designer may object to your registration if they feel it is too similar to their previously registered design. These cases are rare, particularly when we have executed a prior art search before filing. However if this does happen, we are well-equipped to handle communication with the other side, and to argue your case on your behalf.


Design litigation & dispute resolution

Our Intellectual Property Litigation & Dispute Resolution team is well-equipped and highly experienced in resolving design disputes, should they arise. We always strive to resolve disputes with mediation, yet when that is not possible, we are highly experienced litigators and advocates in both the UK and German courts. Our team is also experienced in handling proceedings before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court – a court aimed at the speedy resolution of IP cases for SMEs and start-ups.


Read more about our renowned Litigation group here: IP Litigation & Dispute Resolution


International design protection support


Our team operates from offices in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and China. This unparalleled global reach means we can provide clients with guidance in some of the most important jurisdictions globally. Our attorneys have experience in nearly every jurisdiction in the world, so they will guide you through the specific exclusions and requirements of the countries in which you would like to pursue protection. 


Professional legal advice for design rights


Although it is possible to represent yourself in registering designs, we recommend that you always seek the advice of an experienced design professional.


Our attorneys are registered patent and trade mark attorneys as well as design attorneys. This means they can ensure your registered designs are fully integrated into your IP strategy to provide the best protection for your ideas.


Can we help you?


Our team is experienced in helping clients of all sizes navigate the regulatory requirements of multiple jurisdictions around the world. We particularly work with SMEs, start-ups and individual inventors who have the most to gain from these assessments. 


Our attorneys have experience and knowledge for a vast range of industries. Follow this link for more information about our sector expertise: Sector Expertise


We look forward to hearing from you: Contact Us

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