The table below summarises the essential differences between the protection offered by the design rights and the design registration.
|Unregistered design right||Registered design|
|What does it apply to?||In the UK, it applies only to three-dimensional articles. In the EU, it applies to two- and three- dimensional articles.||Applies to both two- and three-dimensional articles.|
|What does it cover?||In the UK, it covers the shape and configuration of products, internal and external. In the EU, it covers the whole product.||Covers the appearance of a product, resulting particularly from its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and materials or its ornamentation.|
|When does it apply?||Automatic right.||Arises on registration with the Intellectual Property Office in the UK, or the EU Intellectual Property Office for EU applications.|
|How long does it last?||Lasts up to 15 years in the UK and three years in the European Union.||Lasts up to 25 years, subject to it being renewed every five years.|
|How do you enforce it?||You have to prove that you hold the design and that deliberate copying has taken place in infringement actions.||You don't have to prove deliberate copying in infringement actions.|
|How effective is it?||Less likely to act as a deterrent against infringement. Also, difficult to establish for selling and licensing purposes.||More likely to act as a deterrent against infringement and easy to sell or license.|