UK Design Right

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Find out more

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The staff at Franks & Co were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.

The United Kingdom is now officially in a period of mourning until after the Queen’s state funeral which is to be held on Monday 19 September. Normal day-to-day business will continue throughout this period.

The UK government has declared the day of the funeral to be a national Bank Holiday, so the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office will be closed on Monday 19 September.

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office’s official guidance on bank holidays is given below:

The office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all England and Wales bank holidays for all types of business, except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the office is closed is extended to the next working day.

Skip navigation

UK design right is an unregistered right which has its basis in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, and arises automatically on recording an original design on any medium, or by making an article to an original design.

UK telephone box and post box

No formal system of registration exists for UK design right. In order to enforce design right, proof that there is a design right subsisting and that it is owned by the person claiming it will be required. In order to achieve this practically, the original design should be recorded together with information concerning the designer and where and when the design was produced.

Design right lasts for a period of 15 years from the end of the calendar year in which the design was first recorded. If the design is incorporated in an article sold or hired within the first 5 years of the design right existing, then design right lasts for 10 years from the date of the first sale or hire. However, the owner of the design right can only prevent copying up to the beginning of the first 5 years of the design right term. For the remaining five year period, third parties are entitled to a license of right from the design right holder, and so copying of the design cannot be prevented. A royalty however will be due for any copying occurring in this period.

Design right is owned in the first instance by the person making the design, unless it is made in the course of employment or by commission, in which case the design right is normally owned by the employer or commissioner.

Design right can be infringed if a third party copies a design in which design right exists. If a third party independently arrives at exactly the same design, without copying, then no infringement of design right exists.

Limitations to design right:

  • It does not protect features of an article which are dependent upon the form of another article to which the aforementioned article is intended to form an integral part.
  • It does not protect a decoration applied to the surface of an article.
  • It only protects original designs made after 01 August 1989.
  • It does not protect the features of an article which, when placed in or around another article, allow the latter article to perform its function.
  • It applies only in the UK

Experts in UK Design Right

Robert B Franks Robert B Franks

Chartered & European Patent Attorney and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
E : robert.franks@franksco.com
T : +44 (0)114 249 9888

Read More Read More

Abdulmalik Lawal Abdulmalik Lawal

Chartered Patent & Trade Mark Attorney and European Patent Attorney
E : abdulmalik.lawal@franksco.com
T : +44 (0)114 249 9888

Read More Read More

Jon Banford Jon Banford

Chartered & European Patent Attorney and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
E : jon.banford@franksco.com
T : +44 (0)1604 632 436

Read More Read More

Abigail Welford Abigail Welford

Chartered & European Patent Attorney and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
E : abigail.welford@franksco.com
T : +44 (0)114 249 9888

Read More Read More