What are Design Rights?

Rights can be owned over the aesthetic appearance of a 3D or 2D product such as the shape, colour, texture and materials used, and are known as designs.  Design rights are registrable if the design is new and novel, and can be applied for through national offices such as the UK International Patent Office, or registered Community designs administered by Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market for Europe-wide protection.  When registered, the design right is valid for up to 5 years, with renewals allowed in 5-year blocks up to a maximum of 25 years.  Take a look here for more information on design rights.