The following IP Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A registered design right can protect the appearance of the whole or part of a product. To attract protection a design needs to:
be new, and
have individual character
The designer has a twelve-month grace period from self-disclosure of the design in which to file an application for registration. As this product has already been sold for four years the designer cannot benefit from the twelve-month grace period. See Practice Notes: UK registered and unregistered designs and Community (EU) designs for more information.
Unregistered community design rights (effective throughout the EU) and UK unregistered design rights both arise automatically in respect of qualifying designs without the need for registration or any other specific action on the part of the owner.
Unregistered community design rights lasts for three years from when the design is first made available/disclosed in Article 12 of Council Regulation (EC) 6/2002 . As this product has been sold for four years it can no longer benefit from this form of unregistered protection. For information about unregistered design rights, see Practice Note: Community (EU) designs.
UK unregistered design rights arise automatically once qualifying
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