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What Are Designs?

A product's "design" is its overall appearance resulting from one or more of its visual features.  A product's visual features include its shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation.

All sorts of products can have their shape protected by design registration - for example toys, clothes, the distinctive Apple computer shape - any product with a distinctive shape.

If a design is novel, it can be registered under the Designs Act 2003, giving the registered owner statutory rights of monopoly over its use on products in relation to which it is registered.  Under the Act, only certain people may be registered as the owner.

If you have created or purchased a novel design, you may be entitled to register it and have a legally enforceable monopoly over it (ie. stop anyone else from embodying it into certain products without your permission) for a number of years.

How Can We Help?

We can advise you whether your design is likely to be registrable, and if you would like to register the design, we can assist you to do that.

If you already have one or more registered designs, we can advise you about your rights and enforce those rights against other parties who infringe them.

We can also advise you as to whether any designs you are using or wish to use infringe upon other registered designs you might be worried about, or defend you if you are sued by another party for breach of their registered design rights.

We can also advise you about how any copyrighted materials you are aware of may affect rights attaching to the design (and vice-versa) and what your rights and obligations may be in relation to any relevant copyrights or other designs.