Copyright and unregistered design right protection

Introduction to copyright and unregistered design right protection

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Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works from being copied by unauthorised third parties. In the UK, works are automatically protected once they have been recorded.

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UK Unregistered Design Right protects three-dimensional designs in terms of shape, appearance and configuration. An original design is protected automatically once it has been recorded. Unregistered Design Right does not provide as much protection as Registered Design Rights.

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Design Right does not subsist in the following:

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  • A method or principle of construction of an article
  • Three-dimensional features which allow the article to be placed in or around another article
  • Three-dimensional features of an article which are dependent on the appearance of another article to which it is intended to form an integral part
  • Surface decoration

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European Community Unregistered Design Right protection is similar to the European Community Registered Design Right. The design must be new, have individual character, must be visible to the eye during normal use of the design. European Community Design Right is available regardless of nationality or residence.

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Like Copyright and UK Unregistered Design Right, European Community Unregistered Design Right provides a right to prevent copying by unauthorised third parties. The act of copying must normally be proven for the favourable prosecution of an infringement action.

design right protection

Our experienced technical staff can advise on all aspects of Copyright and Unregistered Design Rights including licensing, infringement and what term of protection is applicable to a particular work.

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If you have a question relating to Copyright or Unregistered Design Rights then contact our expert team today.