Fast, affordable and expert legal advice for your Intellectual Property matters

Taking businesses from idea to ideal

Have you created a new product and want to protect its appearance such as colours, textures or materials?

The design rights process can be complex, that’s why at LawBite, our Intellectual Property expert lawyers are prepared to help and guide you through any aspects of protecting your business design rights.

We provide quick, affordable and easy to understand legal consultation.

We offer a free no-obligation 15min legal phone consultation with our Intellectual Property lawyers.

Send us your enquiry using the form on the right and a member of our team will get back to you within 2 working hours.

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What are Design Rights and why are they important for your business?

Some elements of the design process can be protected by the law of copyright, however, copyright alone doesn't always offer enough protection for designs. Design rights are an underused element of intellectual property rights because they are not very well known or understood.

Our expert design rights LawBriefs are here to help you all the way through the registration process


In the UK, design rights are protected by two legal rights: registered design rights and unregistered design rights.

The Registered Design Rights Act, 1949 (RDA) provides for the whole or part of a design, including its contours, texture, shape, materials, colours or how it's ornamented. You can protect a broad range of products, including packaging, graphic symbols and individual elements that form part of a complex product (one composed of at least two replaceable component parts).

A separate regime exists under English law to protect unregistered original designs.  These rights arise under the CDPA that creates copyrights.

Registering design rights in the UK

A registered design provides you with an exclusive right to use the design 'and any design which does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression'.

The initial period of protection is five years from the date of registration of the design.

The registration can be renewed after that for further periods of five years each, taking the total length of protection under a registered design to 25 years. Renewal fees are £130, £210, £310 and £450 for each successive five-year period of renewal.

An application for registration of a design is made to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) where you set out what the design is and provide a representation of it. It's your responsibility to verify that these criteria are fulfilled and that you're not wasting your time in making an application for registration. A fee of £60 is payable for a single design to be published immediately. The cost of a deferred design is £40. Following registration, third parties can apply to cancel the registration on various grounds, such as lack of novelty and distinctive character or that you aren't the rightful owner.    

Why use LawBite?

We're Intellectual Property experts - regulated and experiences UK Lawyers

Fully regulated, qualified & insured lawyers give you the widest range of expertise and experience tailored to your needs.

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  • Andrew Smith LawBrief Solicitor
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  • Peter Rylands, LawBrief
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Lawbite employee 3

We can't thank you enough for all of your help with this… I'm very impressed with the service

Steven Wintercroft

A very smooth and efficient process. Will definitely use your services again.

Sharon Dixon
Lawbite employee 1

"I made the amendments that Louise suggested and I'm very happy with the changes. Your service is great and I will definitely be using you in the future."

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