Thu 13th Jul 2023
Increase in applications for registered designs in the UK
Service: Design rights
Having previously been a somewhat forgotten right in the intellectual property world, Dominic Weston explores the increase in businesses seeking registered design protection, with a large increase in UK design registration filings.
Businesses have been protecting the appearance of their packaging and the appearance of their products, as a relatively lower cost form of intellectual property protection.
Traditionally, UK businesses were less inclined than German and Italian companies to seek registered design rights. Now, the importance of the appearance of the packaging and product is recognised as meriting protection by registration.
Taking the month of January as an example, monthly application numbers for designs in the UK have increased as follows:
January 2018 1658
January 2019 2505
January 2020 2082
January 2021 4792
January 2022 5288
January 2023 6307
UKIPO Design filings in May 2023 of 7230 were one of the highest monthly totals in the last 5 years. This compares with around 1727 patent applications and 13,000 trade marks in that month.
We regularly assist with the protection of designs, particularly of medical devices, electronic equipment such as label makers, packaging shapes such as cans and bottles, fashion items such as jewellery, logos, household goods and sporting and gaming equipment.
This briefing is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. We can discuss specific issues and facts on an individual basis. Please note that the law may have changed since the day this was first published in July 2023.