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Need a Product Designer?

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


Registered UK design protection for new products can be obtained quickly and relatively cost-effectively in the UK. A number of UK designs can now be filed in a single application, as long as the designs are of the same type. Furthermore, the applicant can take advantage of a one year novelty grace period, which means that if the design has been publicly disclosed, then protection may still be possible. We can provide you with advice on these issues on a case-by-case basis.


The requirements for filing a UK design application are very similar to those for filing a European design application, because the legislation governing these methods of protection is now effectively harmonised. Please see our corresponding page regarding European design protection for further details.

What is protected by a UK Registered Design?

A Registered UK design can protect 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.

Here, a ‘product’ means any industrial or handicraft item other than a computer program and, in particular, includes packaging, get-up, graphic symbols, typographic typefaces and parts intended to be assembled into a complex product. A ‘complex product’ means a product which is composed of at least two replaceable component parts permitting disassembly and reassembly of the product.

What is needed to proceed with a UK design application?

Before filing an application for a UK registered design, we need the following information:

  • Full applicant details – e.g. your full name or company name (plus state or incorporation) and address;
  • Representations – drawings or photographs of the design, suitable for quality reproduction by a photocopier, e.g. line drawings are most easily reproduced;
  • Details of any earlier “priority” applications;
  • The title or classification of the design.

For the representations, you should generally show the six views of a cube and a perspective view, but we can advise on this as necessary.

What happens when I’m ready to file a UK design application?

Please explore the following sections for details of the UK registered design application procedure.


To be registrable, a design must be new and have individual character.

‘New’ means not disclosed anywhere in the world before the filing date of the registered design, subject to some exceptions. For example, the design is still considered new if the disclosure could not reasonably have become known to persons carrying on business in the European Economic Area.

A design is considered to have ‘individual character’ if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public.

Certain types of designs are excluded from registration. For example, features of a design dictated solely by their technical function, or features which must have a particular form and dimensions for connection to another product, cannot be protected by a registered design.

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

Filing your application

Albright IP can prepare suitable images to protect your design and file them at the UK IPO. Normally, line drawings are most appropriate, but we can prepare suitable photographs if colour is particularly important to the design.

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

Overseas Design Protection

Albright IP will remind you of the possibility of filing corresponding foreign design applications claiming priority from your UK filing.

This opportunity typically expires 6 months after the filing of your UK registered design application. After this deadline, it is no longer possible to back date a foreign design application to the date of your UK application. Therefore, a prior disclosure may act against the foreign design application.

Some territories, including Europe, allow a grace period of up to 1 year from public disclosure of a design in which to validly file an application, but most countries do not allow this. Therefore we do not advise that you rely on this grace period unless absolutely necessary, because this can prevent you from obtaining valid protection in some foreign countries.

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


UK registered designs can be registered and in force relatively quickly, normally a month or so after filing. However, if the application receives objections, it can take longer for the design to be registered. Note that there is a time limit of 12 months from filing in which the application must be in order for allowance.

Once registered, the UK IPO will publish the design and issue the certificate of registration. Generally speaking, a registered design is treated as having been in force from the date of filing the design application.

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


Once registered, a UK registered design will remain in force for 5 years. Renewal fees can then be paid to extend the period of protection by another 5 years, up to a maximum term of protection of 25 years.

In the UK, design renewal fees can be paid up to 6 months late, with a surcharge. The cost of renewal tends to increase for each additional 5 year period in which the design is kept in force. If a renewal fee is not paid, the registered design will lapse.

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

What if I have a lot of design variations to protect?

It is possible to file a ‘series’ of UK designs, which can significantly lower the cost of protecting multiple designs. However, the designs in the series must be classified as the same ‘type’ of product. Separate applications would be needed for different products.

For further advice on this, please contact us by calling +44 (0) 1242 691 801 to speak with one of our qualified British attorneys.