Registered Designs – The Grace Period

registered designs - the grace period

After months of drawings and mood boards, you’re excited to have finalised your design and are ready to launch your new product.  You are keen to see a return on the time and money invested in your design and now you are ready to get the message out on your website and social media.

However, before disclosing your design to the world, you should be aware of any design grace period that may exist in the country you wish to protect your design.

Design grace period

It is only possible to obtain a registered design if your design is both novel and not common place within the relevant design field.

However, there is a degree of flexibility and some countries operate a “grace period” from self-disclosure of the design in which to file an application for design registration. This can be useful as it allows designers to market a product and determine whether there is demand for it. Grace period provisions vary from country to country and not all overseas territories provide for a grace period. For example, in the UK, a designer has a 12-month grace period after disclosure in which to file an application for a design. However, some countries, such as China, have no grace period at all. Therefore, if you intend to protect your design internationally, care should be taken when disclosing or marketing a design before filing an application for registration.

The design grace period should not be confused with the priority period. After filing in the first country, an applicant has 6 months from the date of filing in the first country to claim a right of priority in other countries. Grace periods do not affect priority dates, but are a means of protecting a designer against invalidating their own designs.

Please note the contents of this blog is given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to your specific circumstances. 

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To find out whether a grace period can be used in a particular country and how you can protect your designs, call our expert design lawyers on 0131 478 4724 or complete an Online Enquiry.

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