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Albright IP Limited
4.9
Based on 88 reviews
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Luke D.
Luke D.
11:25 23 May 22
Was a pleasure to work with Will and Melissa on a patent draft and filing.... Will took the time to understand both my software product and the commercial motivations behind the patent filing. They were extremely responsive to questions and clarifications throughout the process (availability isn't everything, but it certainly helps!).They were also very clear regarding fees, and set out a very helpful visual timeline and cost breakdown on the whole patent application process at the pre-sales stage. This emphasis on making sure I understood all aspects of the work, and having documentation to help with that, is something I didn't see with any of the other patent services I was talking to at the time. This clear communication continued throughout our interactions.Would recommend Albright IP to anyone looking to patent an invention. The patent they filed for me was for a software invention.read more
Milk Shot
Milk Shot
08:15 06 May 22
Great service from Albright; really helped with our IP protection and... very informative!read more
JDG TimeSave Tools
JDG TimeSave Tools
17:53 08 Mar 22
Absolutely excellent... Clear, detailed and prompt responses with no sales... pressure at all.No upselling for their fee either, just a fair, professional appraisal...Thanks to Allbright, I am not spending thousands on a low hope project (when I so easily could have been).read more
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Helpful Tips

Do I have to identify the designer?
It is possible to waive the name of the designer when filing a European Community Design, but you should be sure that you have the rights to the design

DESIGNS

Albright IP is a firm of expert qualified British and European design attorneys. Our first-class attorneys have exceptional expertise, and will represent you before the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and internationally before the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). We can also obtain registered design rights for you in almost any country throughout the world. We aim to provide you with all the guidance and advice that you require to obtain strong design rights in a cost-effective manner.

Please contact us with your enquiry using the form further down on this page.

REGISTERED DESIGN RIGHTS OVERVIEW

What is a design?

Designs protect the appearance or shape of a product. A UK Registered Design or a Registered Community Design (or ‘European design’) protects the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product or its ornamentation. There can be some overlap with trade mark registration, and we can advise you of the pros and cons in this regard.

We represent our clients before the UK Designs Registry of the UK IPO and the European Community Designs Registry of the EUIPO. We can also arrange design filings in countries around the world through our network of capable and cost-effective overseas associates.

Where can I get advice on designs?

Located in Cheltenham, UK, our qualified British and European design attorneys are able to advise you on all areas of design law, including:

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Registered and Unregistered Designs

There are two different types of design rights – registered and unregistered.

Registered design rights (RDRs) are recorded and made available in a public Designs Registry. Different views of the design are shown, and these provide the scope of protection for the design. If you have a registered design, an infringer cannot claim to have ‘innocently’ infringed your design.

Unregistered design rights (UDRs) are not kept in a public register. UDRs subsist automatically, but have a much narrower scope of protection, provide a shorter term of protection and are more difficult to enforce. For example, unlike infringement of a registered design, you must show that an unregistered design was copied, rather than independently created, to succeed in an infringement action.

There are exclusions for both types of design, which affect whether a particular design is likely to be registrable.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Registrability of a Design

In order for a design to be registrable, there are certain criteria that must be met. The general requirements are that the design is new and has individual character. This means that the design has not been made available to the public before, and that the ‘overall impression’ of the design on the ‘informed user’ is different to that of other known designs.

Some things are excluded from design protection. For example, a design is not registrable if its appearance is solely dictated by its technical function, or if the design would be contrary to public policy or immoral.

Exclusions can vary in different territories, so for more information regarding registrability, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Searching for Designs

Formal design searches are not carried out as part of a registered design application. However, if your design is not new, or is too similar to an existing design, then you will not be able to obtain a valid design registration.

We offer design searching services to find designs which may be similar to your own. This can give more certainty regarding whether your design is different enough from known designs, and can help identify whether your design might infringe other registered designs.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Design Filing

Different territories have different requirements for design applications. For example, standardised views of the design being protected are generally required. This normally means providing images of the front, back, top, bottom, left side and right side of the design, along with a perspective view. However, in order to ensure the best scope of protection, sometimes a different set of views may be preferred.

In the UK and Europe, we offer competitive fixed fee deals for preparing and filing design applications, and taking them through to registration. We also offer competitive rates for handling design applications in other countries around the world.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Validity

Design applications in the UK and Europe do not undergo substantive search and examination. This means that a design may be invalid if it is not novel or does not have individual character, although other reasons for invalidity exist.

Issues concerning patent validity can arise during cases of patent infringement, where one party has alleged infringement and the other contends that the patent is invalid (and so unenforceable).

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Infringement

A design can only be enforced once registered. If you own a registered design, you have the right to stop another party from doing something that would fall within the scope of protection conferred by the figures in the design (known as infringement).

For example, if you have a registered UK design, then you would have the right to stop another party from making, offering, putting on the market, importing/exporting, or using a product including your design in the UK, or stocking such a product for any of those purposes.

In the UK, designs tend to register quickly, within a month or so. In Europe, designs can sometimes register very quickly, sometimes within a few days if using the fast track process.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Revocation

Sometimes, designs may be registered for a design that is not novel, or lacks individual character, for example. This can occur because design applications do not undergo substantive search and examination.

In such cases, it is possible for a registered design to be revoked, or partially revoked, by a court or by the relevant Office (e.g. the UK IPO or EUIPO), in light of new prior art that pre-dates an application, for example.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Renewals

In the UK and Europe, a design registration initially remains in force for 5 years once registered. It is possible to pay renewal fees to extend the period of protection in additional 5 year increments, up to a maximum term of 25 years.

In other juridictions, renewals and the term of protection can vary. For example, in the USA, registered designs (called ‘design patents’) last for 14 years once registered, and there are no renewal fees due.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

Licences, Assignments and Recordal

It is possible to license or transfer a design from one person (or company) to another. Licensing permits another party to use a design, e.g. making and selling a product incorporating the design, without infringing. In return, the design holder can receive a royalty, for example. Assignment transfers the design to another party, and the previous holder no longer owns the design.

Different types of licenses are possible, and the terms can be negotiated according to the value of the design (or design portfolio). Design assignments normally transfer all of the design rights from one party (the ‘assignor’) to the other (the ‘assignee’). Licenses and assignments should be recorded at the relevant Designs Registry once finalised.

For more information, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British and European attorneys.

If you need advice regarding product design, development and/or manufacture, please click here.

Why should I register my design?

A registered design is a very useful tool for protecting new design features, which make your products different to those of your competitors. If your business relies on attracting customers by virtue of attractive or distinctive design, then it makes good sense to protect your designs by design registration.

By registering the appearance of a design, you can monopolise its manufacture, use, distribution and sale, amongst other things. Whilst the initial period of protection is 5 years, this period can be extended in 5 year increments up to a period of 25 years, ensuring that your position in the marketplace is secure.

If your business is involved in creating any new aesthetic designs, then design registration could add value to your business, give you a dominant position in the marketplace and allow you to prevent import of cheap imitations.

What else should I know about IP protection?

In addition to advising on Designs for your product, we can provide free initial advice regarding Patents to protect the underlying concept or functions of your product, Trade Marks for your brand image and company and Copyright to cover your literature, artwork and graphic design.

Whether you are an inventor, designer, entrepreneur or business, Albright IP can help you stay ahead of your competitors by protecting your new designs, products and trade names in a thorough, proactive and cost-effective way.

Our firm provides a personal service, puts our clients first and has a strategy to support your enterprise. We are here to protect your creative vision, innovation and investment, through domestic, European and international design filings.

If you would like further information, please contact us on +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak to a qualified British and European design attorney.