Protect your registered designs

Protect your designs abroad

Guide

Registering your designs in the UK does not automatically protect them abroad. There are three ways to protect your designs outside the UK. You can:

  • make a national application in individual countries
  • use the Hague System to apply to a number of different countries or territories at the same time, through a single application
  • apply for a registered community design (RCD) covering the European Union

Protecting your designs in Europe

If you trade in a single EU country, you may want to register your design just in that territory. This would give you the exclusive rights within that country but it won't be prevent anyone from copying your design in other EU countries.

If you do business in more than one EU country, it makes financial and practical sense to apply for a registered community design.

An RCD is a design registration which is valid in all European Union member states. RCDs are protected for five years and can be renewed a maximum of four times, giving a maximum of 25 years of protection. You can apply for an RCD with the EU Intellectual Property Office.