As artistic works may be the subject of copyright, objects which are to be exploited industrially are subject instead to protection through design right or the registered design system. Design right under the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 arises in original designs of functional products which do not necessarily have aesthetic appeal.
Design right creates a relative monopoly which prevents the design from being copied and is capable of lasting up to 15 years, in the last five years of which a compulsory licence may arise. Registered design right, by contrast, applies to products with ‘eye appeal’ and creates an absolute monopoly capable of lasting 25 years.
Pactum Law offers advice in respect of both design right and registered design right and we assist with the registration, management and exploitation of designs in the UK and internationally.