The Registered Design protection system can be traced back to 1839. Upon registration rights akin to a monopoly protection is granted to the owner of a design for surface or shape designs with some ornamental character, when applied to a designated article.
The registration process is cheap, quick and simple (recently, the Registry have abandoned their practice of searching prior registered designs).
The primary legislation is the Registered Designs Act 1949, which was amended by, amongst others, the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 (the “CDPA”).
Registration is relatively cheap. It costs £60 (in government fees) to make an application to register a design. If the design is granted then the first period of registration lasts for 5 years from the date of application. If renewal of protection is required the costs for 2nd period renewal are £130.00; the cost for the 3rd period renewal is £210.00; the costs for the 4th period renewal is £310.00 and the cost of the 5th period renewal is £450.00. Additionally, this firm charges a filing fee of £250 and at each renewal we charge a fee of £145. Registered designs can be licensed, mortgaged, sold and charged to a bank.