It is sometimes controversial to say that looks are important. But in the world of design, it is often all that counts. In the world of legal protection for designs, how something looks is defining.

Design rights play a vital role in IP portfolios across a wide range of industry sectors, from fashion to toys and from automotive to aerospace engineering. In day-to-day items such as phones, kettles, children’s suitcases and even packaging, good design is driving sales. Often supplementing patent and trade mark protection, strong design rights are essential, if looks are important for your product.

Following Brexit, from 1 January 2021, EU designs no longer cover the UK, and so separate EU and UK applications need to be made for any new designs that need protection in the UK and EU. As a firm with a Munich office for 40 years, we can handle both for you.

We have a dedicated team of design specialists that can advise you, internationally, on:

  • Searching and preliminary advice – to assess prior rights, establish freedom to use the design and assess its likelihood of registration
  • Registration and prosecution of the design – to advise on the application process and deal with objections raised by the IP offices
  • Alignment with other rights – to consider how the registered design can work with patents, copyright and trade marks to create a canopy of IP protection for key product lines
  • Strategic advice – to identify, capture and assess ownership of national and multinational unregistered design rights and copyright
  • Cancellation and infringement – to advise you on and support you in taking action to enforce or protect your rights, calling on the support of our litigation experts when appropriate.
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"HLK stands out for providing professional, knowledgeable, and pragmatic advice which goes to the heart of the matter – this provides an exceptional client experience"

Client testimonial, The Legal 500 2023


"Excellence in subject matter and client service very strong. Approachable lawyers and reasonably priced"

Client testimonial, The Legal 500 2023

Our team: Designs