Our specialist design rights lawyers can help you file and protect designs, as well as resolve disputes relating to registered or unregistered design rights.

What Are Design Rights?

There are two types of design rights – unregistered and registered.

Designs can be registered with the UK and/or EU Intellectual Property Office. You don’t have to register a design, but registration gives you added protection because:

  • Your rights are protected for longer (up to 25 years compared to as little as 3 years)
  • You’re not only protected against someone copying your design, but also against someone unknowingly infringing your design rights
  • You don’t need to establish that you own a design if someone infringes your rights.

If you want to register your design in the UK or the EU, you need to meet strict criteria. Our design rights lawyers can help you understand what can be registered, as well as whether other types of intellectual property rights might be appropriate.

What Design Rights Services Do We Offer?

There are three main areas where our design rights solicitors can support you:

  1. Filings/applications – we can help you through the application process for UK and EU registered design rights applications.
  2. Protection – design rights are owned by the individual designer, unless the design was created in the course of their employment with you. If you commission a design from a third party, the design rights are theirs unless they assign these to you. Our lawyers can ensure a contract is in place to make sure you own the rights to your designs.
  3. Infringements, disputes and enforcement – we can help you if your unregistered or registered design rights have been infringed, or if the ownership or validity of your rights are in question.

Who Can We Help?

We help individuals and businesses of all sizes – from lone designers through to corporate multinationals. Our team has experience in all major industry sectors, with specialist expertise in consumer products and retail.

Why Choose Our Design Rights Lawyers?

We understand that protecting designs is a complicated area, and we’ll help you navigate it with a minimum of fuss. We’ll build a team around you and your needs.

We have a highly-specialised team of lawyers and attorneys who regularly help clients with issues around design rights. In addition, we can also help in a range of related areas, including commercial and employment law.

Contact Us

If you need advice about a design rights issue, our lawyers are here to help. Call us on 0808 271 2602 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you.

Testimonials & Client Feedback

We truly value the feedback we receive from both our clients and legal accreditation societies, such as The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Legal 500 UK Leading Firm 2022

“The IP team at Irwin Mitchell is exceptional.”

Legal 500, 2022

"The team is tenacious and dogged, approaching substantial pieces of work with unwavering determination."

Legal 500, 2020
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“You have done sterling work on our behalf for which we thank you. I am already recommending you should anyone be in need of your services.”

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We also offer the following services:

Copyright Lawyers

Our specialist copyright lawyers can help protect or commercialise your rights, as well as in cases of copyright disputes or infringements.

Image Rights Lawyers

If you’re in the public eye, your image is a valuable commodity. Our image rights lawyers help individuals/brands commercialise, protect and enforce these rights.

Intellectual Property Audit

Get a thorough audit from our solicitors to identify your business’s IP opportunities and risks, with government funding available for growing SMEs.

Resolving Unfair Seller Account Or Listing Suspensions On Online Marketplaces

If your seller account or product listing is suspended without valid grounds, our intellectual property team can help get your account or listing reinstated and get you back to business.

Stopping IP Infringement By Sellers On Online Marketplaces

If you’re an IP rights-owner and an online marketplace seller is infringing your IP rights, our expert intellectual property team can help you strategies and tackle IP infringement head on.

Patent Lawyers

Our specialist patent lawyers can help you protect, commercialise and enforce your intellectual property rights, both in the UK and internationally.

Trade Mark Lawyers

Our team of experienced trademark lawyers and attorneys can help you register, protect and exploit your intellectual property in the UK, Europe or worldwide.

Trade Secrets Lawyers

Our team of specialist trade secrets lawyers can help you protect and enforce your rights over trade secrets, know-how and confidential information.

We Work Nationally

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

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Awards & Accreditations

We’re proud of the recognition we’ve received for our business legal work. For a list of awards and accreditations, please visit our awards page.

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Business News

Our lawyers are regularly asked to provide expert insight, advice and analysis for the national media. Take a look at the stories below to see what we’re saying, as well as some of the recent deals we have completed for our clients here in the UK and abroad.