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Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law (1st edn)

Stavroula Karapapa and Luke McDonagh
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date: 03 June 2023

p. 51520. Designslocked

p. 51520. Designslocked

  • Stavroula KarapapaStavroula KarapapaProfessor of Intellectual Property and Information Law, University of Reading
  •  and Luke McDonaghLuke McDonaghSenior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London


This chapter discusses the law on designs. The underlying idea behind the law on designs is that it involves two distinct elements: an article or product and some added ingredient, a design feature, which enhances the appearance of the article. It is the design feature, the added matter, which receives legal protection, not the product itself. The chapter then deals with the five principal means available to protect the appearance of a product: UK registered design; UK unregistered design right; UK copyright; EU registered design; and EU unregistered design. Thus, a designer who wishes to acquire protection for the appearance of an article under UK and/or EU law has several options. To add to the complexity, various aspects of the design can be protected by registered designs, unregistered designs, and copyright. The outcome is that a designer could end up with several different layers of protection.

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