The process for registering a copyright design...

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
Post Reply
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Huddersfield, UK

The process for registering a copyright design...

Post by Dknight »


im wanting some information on how i go about getting official copyright on an item

It is something i have designed, which doesnt have much actual design element, its more just colour and text.

But i want to get it copyrighted so others cant rip me off

what do i need to do?

also if someone does breach the copyright, do i need to throw £100's at solicitors to enforce it?

any help would be great


New Member
New  Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:14 pm

Post by scoobyra »

As per the last post, I need to know this too as I have just designed a range of t shirts with 5 seperate logos/slogans on and need to stop people from using the same concept before me.
User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:48 pm

Post by CopyrightAid »

Copyright is an automatic right of the creator of the work and applies to:
- Literary work (i.e. written documents, literature, books, wesite content, software source code, etc.)
- Artwork (i.e. photos, paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc.)
- Musical works.
- Sound recordings and Film

If your work falls into any of these categories it IS subject to copyright automatically.

scoobyra: A LOGO - is a copyright work as long as it contains some 'artistic content' (i.e. not just the name in a standard font).

Dknight : A DESIGN - In IP when we say design we mean the style/shape/configurations/etc. of a physical product - if this is the case this is a design right rather than copyright. From your description however - I wonder if it is also a logo?

Copyright does NOT apply to items like: Names, Colours or Short Phases (slogans) - as these are not unique enough in their own right. To prove an infringement of copyright the copying should be such that 'precludes the chance of co-incidence'.

In the case of an infringement, you would normally start with what is called a 'cease and desist' letter to the offender, but, yes if they contest your claim, you may need to engage the services of a solicitor (though you may be able to claim damages for your legal costs if you win the claim).

Hope that helps both of you....
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 9:02 am

Post by Warlock »

Copyright is one area of intellectual property and Design Rights are another.

For most copyright works protection lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years and protection is worldwide.
In the case of design rights an 'unregistered design right' is protected under UK law for 10 years only (and typically less in other countries).

Copyright and Design Rights both have automatic protection under law (without registration), though both can be registered for some additional benefits:
  • In the case of copyright there are paralegal companies that you can lodge copies of your work with - they act as 'witness' to your claim [see links below for example] you should be clear that this does not 'give' you copyright (copyright is an automatic right - you ALREADY have it), but, it CAN help to prove your claim if you have to take action against someone using your work without permission (i.e. in a plagiarism or infringement case). This is relatively inexpensive; i.e. £50 - £100, (though I have heard of solicitors that charge £1000+).
  • In the case of design rights, while an 'unregistered design right' is protected under UK law for 10 years only (and maybe less in other countries). A design may be registered with the UK Patent Office which will extend the period of protection (in the UK ONLY) to 25 years.
    Of course, if you wanted the design registered in Europe, you could register in Europe, in the US for US protection, etc. etc. (i.e. it would cost thousands to register a design right across the world).
Reading your posts, I was struck by the fact that there are a few fact sheets on the UKCS site that would probably answer all your questions:
- ... ign_rights - explains what design rights are.
- ... ight_names - covers the 'name/slogan' issue.
- ... _copyright covers logos
oh, and
- ... fringement - Explains what to do if your work is infringed.
Post Reply