Design Rights

Design rights protect what your product looks like.  A registered design will protect features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament.  A design must be new and give a different overall impression from any design that already exists to be valid.  This is a very quick and cost-effective way to protect a product, but it does not protect any technical function, which can only be protected with a patent.  In a market where look can be everything these can be very valuable rights.  There are also unregistered rights, with different rules and scope for the UK and EU, but as with copyright, being able to demonstrate who created the design and when are critical.