What is a Registered design?
Intellectual Property Law recognises that some products sell by appeal to the eye. This form of intellectual property protection is directed to the distinctive visual appearance of articles. This form of intellectual property is referred to as a registered design.
What Encompasses a Registered Design?
A registered design application may be directed to the three-dimensional shape of a product, or a two-dimensional pattern applied to the surface of a product. Design law may be used to protect a broad range of articles including goods as diverse as clothing, electrical, furniture, toys, and automotive spare parts. Design protection is generally easier to obtain than a patent; however the term of protection is relatively short at 10 years.
It is important to remember that design protection does not cover how a product actually works, but just its appearance. So, a competitor could alter the appearance of an article to escape infringing of your rights under design law.