Intellectual Property: Design Protection

Design protection is a right which protects against the unauthorised copying of an original design. It is an automatic right which covers the shape and configuration of a product internally and externally. Registered design protection covers all or part of a products appearance, this may include: lines, colours, shapes, textures, material or ornamentation.

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Why use Bridle IP?

Bridle IP has worked with individuals and multi-national clients from a diverse array of industries. We can help with all aspects of obtaining a patent, including: drafting original patent applications, writing invention specification, proving merits to the UK Intellectual Property Office. Our patent agents also have significant expertise in post grant issues, such as European opposition and appeal proceedings.

How Design Protection Works

Unregistered design protection is automatically granted the moment an original design is created. To register for design protection you must send an application to the designs registry which is a department within the intellectual property office.

To register a design your product must:


How Design Protection Works



Not use protected emblems or flags



Not be offensive

After filing the application, you can expect to have a year to develop your idea and identify further possibilities before needing to do anything else. As a general rule patents are usually granted within 4 years of making the application, however this can be sooner.

How long does design protection last?

In the UK unregistered design protection lasts for 10 years after the product was first sold, or 15 years after it was first created, whichever is sooner.

In the UK registered design protection must be renewed every 5 years, this can keep going until 25 years.

In the EU designs may be automatically protected as “unregistered community designs”, this type of protection lasts for 3 years.


How can Bridle IP help me?

01227 712022

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Our team have experience in filing designs for a wide array of organisations from multi-national companies to individuals.

We can help to give you the best chance of ensuring your designs are fully protected. Bridle IP has experts in all areas including copyright and trademarks, we provide up to date advice to help you make the most appropriate choice when it comes to protecting your intellectual property.