How do I protect the shape and design of my product?
If you have designed a new product, you should consider getting your shape and design protected especially as protecting the shape of your product is free (through copyright protection)
The first design right is free and you are automatically entitled to it as an Entrepreneur, as long as you have created an original design for a product. This free protection will protect the internal or external shape or configuration of your product – but not your design or pattern.
Remember the design right will allow you to stop anyone from copying the shape or configuration of the product, but will NOT protect you from any other factors, like someone copying your patterns from your product. If you need the entire design and shape of your product protected, you are best to register your design officially as is listed below.
Using free design rights on your product will give you the right to stop anyone copying your design for up to 15 years. To apply a copyright to your product for free please see: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm
A registered design will give you a monopoly right for the look of a product, protecting both the shape and the design on it. A registered design will cover the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials of the product or its ornamentation.
To be registered, a design must:
- Be new
- Have an individual character; meaning, it should not remind an informed person of an existing design.
If your design meets these requirements, you may want to consider applying for a registered design. If you decide to register your design and it is accepted you will have to renew it every 5 years (up to a maximum of 25 years).
If your design meets these requirements, you may want to consider applying for a registered design: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/design/d-applying/d-should.htm
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