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How to Obtain a Registered Design

Obtaining a Registered Design

You may consider that the design of your product may be eligible as a registered design. You should firstly ensure, prior to applying for registration, that the design is kept confidential as, if it is no longer original, design registration will not be available.

To apply for a design registration, the design must be new (i.e sufficiently novel), and you must be the owner of the design i.e. the designer, the designer's employer or another to whom he has assigned the right. The application is made to the Designs Registry of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and would normally be handled by a patent agent or trade mark agent. It must contain a clear representation of the design in the application form (Designs Form 2A) and a modest design filing fee.

Once you have filed an application for a registered design, you can begin manufacturing and selling products made to that design. The application date establishes priority, which gives your design precedence over later possibly conflicting, subsequent registered design applications.

The Intellectual Property Office will then search pre-existing designs to establish that yours is new (novel). However the search is not exhaustive and having a registered design is no guarantee against challenge by another trader at a later date. If there is no objection, a certificate of registration is granted.

The procedure will normally take about three months. If the Designs Registry raises objections to your application you are allowed up to two months to respond.

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