Design registration – not just for style icons...

05 October 2015

Perhaps more versatile than any other system to protect new products in Europe, design registrations enables protection of almost any aspect of a product visible to the user.

While this naturally includes design ‘classics’ such as the configuration of a Dyson vacuum cleaner or the shape of a Mini, design registrations are more often used to protect the shape of more mundane products and even logos, product imagery and aspects of graphical user interfaces (GUIs).


The type of product in which a design may be embodied is defined extremely broadly and extends to, for example:

  • Engineered technical products such as aircraft components
  • Ordinary household items such as glasses and cutlery
  • Design-heavy consumer goods such as furniture and fashion goods
  • The shape of packaging
  • Surface patterns on, for example, clothing or soft furnishings
  • Logos and branding ‘get-up’ for packaging or advertising
  • Icons and the overall appearance of GUIs.

Our clients have obtained registrations for products as diverse as patterned dresses, lamps, chairs, safety deposit boxes and cereal packaging, and recent court cases have shown it is possible to successfully enforce design registrations for products including beer glasses and even ice cream vans!

Protecting a design in Europe is straightforward and a registration is normally obtained within two weeks of filing an application, often within two or three days. The registration initially lasts five years and can be renewed to provide up to 25 years of protection. An application can include multiple designs falling within the same product category, and there are cost savings for each design after the first.

As well as providing peace of mind that the product is legally protected, marking a product as being the subject of a registered design can help to deter third parties from copying the product. 

Martin Krause

Martin Krause


Our Expert
Martin Krause
Martin Krause
Location: Bristol (UK)

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