Q&As

How are supplementary unregistered designs established and what strategic issues do they raise for designers operating in the UK and the EU?

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with Justine Flockhart and Will Holmes of Hansel Henson
Published on LexisPSL on 19/11/2021

The following IP Q&A produced in partnership with Justine Flockhart and Will Holmes of Hansel Henson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How are supplementary unregistered designs established and what strategic issues do they raise for designers operating in the UK and the EU?
  • The establishment of supplementary unregistered designs
  • Challenges and strategic issues arising
  • Simultaneous disclosure and choice of forum
  • More registration of designs?

How are supplementary unregistered designs established and what strategic issues do they raise for designers operating in the UK and the EU?

The establishment of supplementary unregistered designs

The unregistered Community design (UCD) right is an automatic right for designs disclosed in the EU, giving the owner the right to prevent copying. It protects whole or part of a product and the protected design may arise from the product’s lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, material or ornamentation, subject to the design being novel and possessing individual character. When the UK left the EU, there was a potential hole or loss of rights, because the UK unregistered ‘design right’ only protects the shape and configuration of a product (or its parts). For more information about the similarities and differences between the rights, see Practice Note: Comparison tables for design protection available in the UK.

The UK government therefore introduced the ‘continuing unregistered design’ (which is outside the scope of this Q&A) and the ‘supplementary unregistered design’ (SUD). The Designs and International Trade Marks (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/638 create the SUD by making amendments to Retained Regulation (EU) 6/2002 and the Community Design Regulations 2005, SI 2005/2339. An SUD arises automatically and provides in the UK the same scope of protection as a UCD, and it protects the design from copying for the same time

Popular documents