Registered and unregistered design right infringement
Registered and unregistered design right infringement

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Registered and unregistered design right infringement
  • UK unregistered design right
  • Issues common to registered and unregistered Community designs
  • Unregistered Community design right
  • Registered Community designs
  • UK registered designs

This Practice Note covers the legislative framework, as well as case law, relating to infringement of registered and unregistered designs. For subsistence of design rights, see Practice Notes: Registered design rights in the UK and EU, Applying for UK and EU registered designs and Unregistered design rights in the UK and EU.

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

Designs law can be complicated to apply to particular facts because there are overlaps between the various different design regimes which apply in the UK, so it is possible for one product to be covered by more than one type of design law at the same time.

The design rights which apply in the UK are as follows:

  1. UK unregistered design right (UK UDR) (also known as ‘design right’)

  2. UK registered designs

  3. registered Community designs (RCDs)

  4. unregistered Community designs (UCDs)

The regimes governing UK registered designs, RCDs and UCDs are broadly similar and derive from EU legislation. The UK UDR regime is separate and is contained in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). In