Designs of or on 3-D objects can be protected by design rights which arise automatically or they can be registered. There are different types – UK registered and unregistered designs, and Community registered and unregistered designs. Community registered and unregistered designs offer protection throughout the EU, not just the UK. Each type is a little different in the criteria required for protection and the level of protection available.
Some practical tips to help protect your designs are set out below:
Keep all originals of your design drawings, sketches, samples, models and prototypes.
Keep all these materials in a secure location.
Record all dates of creation and the dates when you may have disclosed the design, e.g. at a trade fair or in any publication.
Contact your supervisor and/or IP commercialisation organisation who can help decide what type of protection is suitable and whether or not to apply for registration.