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How can design rights become an integral part of your IP portfolio?

16 February

5 mins

Registered designs are tailored to protect the aesthetics of any product, including the shape, contours, look and feel – even surface ornamentation. In the context of digital media products, these can include graphic designs such as user interfaces or computer game characters. If used either alone or in parallel with applications for patent protection, your registered designs rights can therefore help to broaden your intellectual property (IP) portfolio to protect different aspects of your products.

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of distinguishing themselves in the competitive global digital market through their aesthetics – and therefore increasingly innovative in their designs. Registered designs provide a business with a powerful tool to protect these creations and exert their rights against competitors or copycats. As such, a business with a sound IP portfolio encompassing registered design rights can be extremely attractive to investors.

For example, if a company has developed a unique, ergonomic design for a smartphone case, by applying for and obtaining registered design rights for this product, the company can prevent competitors from copying their design and ensure that their unique creation is protected. This can be especially valuable for this company if it is looking to scale up in a highly competitive market, whilst preserving the brand’s value.

Registered designs can also offer a cost effective and efficient route to securing IP rights. The filing costs are relatively low and the procedure is typically much less expensive and more straightforward than the process of obtaining a patent. Not only are the costs lower, but in Europe and the UK applications can progress almost immediately to registration. This means that, while a patent application may take several years to progress to grant, a business may be able to obtain registered design rights in just a few days.

Having registered design rights in place can be a valuable asset for businesses, especially when it comes to attracting investors. By obtaining registered design rights, a business can demonstrate their commitment to protecting their aesthetic creations and stake their claim to their IP. This can help to increase the credibility of the business to reassure potential investors that the business has a strong and comprehensive IP strategy and that they therefore possess a powerful tool by which to protect and differentiate their product.

In summary, registered designs provide a cost effective way to secure IP rights and protect unique aesthetic creations. By incorporating them into IP portfolios, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, attract potential investors, and ensure that their designs are protected beyond their functionality.

If you have any questions or are interested in registering design rights, then please do get in touch.

Written by: Helen Springbett