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How to Protect Product Designs

Protecting Product Designs

Whilst the function, operation, manufacture or construction of a product may be protected by a patent, its outward appearance may be protectable by design protection. This protection may be either a registered design requiring an application to the Intellectual Property Office or an unregistered design right which arises automatically without registration but gives a weaker protection.

Other protection is available to artistic works (through copyright ) and semi-conductor chip topography.

A potential registered design must be original and hence details of the design should be kept confidential prior to application for registration.

The below pages outline how aspects of a product's design may determine the extent of the protection, and how to deal with suspected infringers. 

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