A design may be the appearance of a product as a whole or part of a It may be the three-dimensional shape of the product or it may be a particular surface decoration (e.g. a pattern on a fabric). It may also be a graphic symbol, such as an icon or a typeface.
In order for a design to be registered, it must be This means that it must not have been made public prior to the grace period (see later). It must also possess individual character, i.e. produce a different overall impression when compared with earlier designs.
There is a list of exclusions which may prevent a design from being registered. These include the following:
- The design must be visible in
- The design must not be dictated solely by the function of the product. This means that if a product has to have a specific design in order to function, then registration of the design would not be allowed.
- The design must not be such that it must fit with another component. This means that if the design (such as the arrangement of the pins of a plug) is essential for it to fit with another component (such as a socket), then registration of that design would not be allowed.
The registration of designs which include protected emblems, such as a national flag, a red cross or the Olympic rings, or which include someone elses trade mark or copyright material will not be allowed.
We would be happy to advise you if there is any doubt about whether or not a design may be registered.