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What is a registered design?

A register a design showing the ornamentation alone e.g. a pattern to go on a product or a stylised logo.

A registered design can be a valuable asset, allowing you to stop others from creating designs which are too similar to yours within the same geographical area you have protected your design - registration gives you protection for the visual appearance of the product but not for what it is made from or how it works.

To be registrable, a design must:

  • be new;
  • have individual character.

A design is new if no identical (or similar) design has been published or publicly is disclosed in a country or a region. For example, a design would not be considered new if it had been 'published' on the Internet on a site viewable in the European Economic Area (EEA) before the date it was filed.

Individual character means that the appearance of the design (known as the overall impression) is different from the appearance of other already known designs.


Fast Design Facts
  • Designs protect the physical appearance and visual appeal of products.

  • If there are designs on our register that look the same as or similar to yours, your design could be challenged after registration. This could result in your design registration being invalidated. You can check if someone else has got there first.

  • You apply for Registered Design Protection by filing out the appropriate application form and paying a fee. The Patent Office will send you a receipt confirming all the details you have sent and the date the office received your application.

  • If the application is successful, the patent office will register your design in the national and/or regional Designs Register; and publish your registration details in Designs Journal.
"...If you decide to protect patents or trademarks around, check out MACIPO.NET..."

James Potvin
IP@Industry USA

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