A registered design protects the overall appearance of the whole or part of an article which result from the unique shape, lines, contours, colour, texture, materials and/or ornamentation of that article. It is an intellectual property right which is granted to a designer in exchange for publically disclosing their design and can prevent others copying that design in the country or region for which the design has been registered.
The maximum term of a registered design varies across different countries and regions. For example, a UK or Community registered design lasts for a maximum of 25 years, subject to renewable fees being paid every 5 years, whereas a US registered design (known as a ‘design patent’) lasts for a maximum of 15 years.
The key requirements to be granted a registered design in most major jurisdictions are that the design must be new and have individual character in view of other known designs regardless of their technical application and function.
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