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Design FAQ

These are brief and generalised answers to frequently asked questions about inventions and patents.

Please contact us directly if you need advice on a specific matter.

How can I protect my new product?

There are two main forms of protection.

Designs protect the shape or appearance of your product.

Patents are a broader form of protection, covering the way in which it functions and/or underlying principles.

We can advise you as to the appropriate form of protection. Sometimes, it will be appropriate to have both a patent and a design.

What do I need to do?

Firstly: Keep your new product secret, and don't offer it for sale.

You need to keep it secret until you have decided how it will be protected. If you really need to tell someone about it before consulting us, then you need to get that person to sign a written confidentiality agreement.

Secondly: Consult a professional patent attorney, such as ourselves.

Why use a patent attorney?

We can:

  • Research your new product to minimise expensive conflicts and litigation with existing patent or design rights.
  • Acquire legal rights that protect your product adequately and stop others from exploiting loopholes or inadequacies.
  • Monitor for any future breaches of your design.
  • Assist you in dealing with infringers.

 

How do I get a Worldwide Design Registration?

Unfortunately, there is no international system which will provide a single registration of your design throughout the world.

We can advise you on appropriate strategies to protect your product in overseas markets.

Will the Designs Office ensure that my design is not infringed?

No - the Designs Office does not act as an enforcement agency.

You are responsible for keeping a lookout for anyone copying your product and for taking legal action.

We can assist you in this - we have a range of monitoring packages available.

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