Boult Wade Tennant
Service » Designs

Our UK and European design attorneys advise clients on obtaining, exploiting and enforcing intellectual property rights relating to designs. We combine our commercial knowledge with legal expertise to provide high quality advice with outstanding client service. Design law is an area of IP law which interacts with both trade marks and patents. Our team is drawn from both specialisms, enabling us to advise a huge variety of clients on their design enquiries. Moreover, understanding when to pursue design protection in addition, or as an alternative to, filings for patents or trade marks is critical. We seek to advise our clients on the best possible strategy for their innovations, whichever filing strategy they might be considering.

What we do

Identify and protect
  • Good product design hinges not only on technical functionality, but also appearance, ergonomics, and consumer appeal. We appreciate the importance of protecting the appearance of products as a vital component in an effective protection strategy for innovative products.
  • Our team has extensive experience in identifying how design protection can be tailored to maximise its potential benefits. We achieve design protection that is both cost effective and commercially worthwhile for our clients through an intrinsic understanding of their business.
Secure and preserve
  • We are experienced in the preparation and filing of design applications directly at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), and the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). We use our international network to secure design protection throughout the world.
  • Effective design protection relies not only on the creative process itself, but also on ensuring that process is documented, new designs are assessed, and ownership issues are considered. We help our clients devise procedures to manage the process and ensure that creative force is harnessed to best effect.
  • We know the importance of finding the optimal way to illustrate a new product, as well as choosing when and where to file. We work closely with our clients to identify the key features of a design, assist with preparation of illustrations and formulate a filing strategy to optimise the benefits of design protection.
  • Our highly trained support staff and specialised records system ensure we can assist with on-going portfolio management and the payment of renewal fees.
Advocate and defend
  • Filing is only the first step in the designs process. Utilising design protection can involve advising clients on enforcement of their own designs, challenging the validity of a competitor’s designs, or defending against an accusation of infringement of a third party’s rights. We help our clients to navigate these challenges with practical and strategic guidance, delivered by their trusted legal adviser.
  • We have significant experience in registered design invalidity proceedings before the EUIPO and UKIPO, as well as in advising clients in respect of takedown notices filed against their products on online marketplaces.
Investigate and advise
  • Understanding the designs of competitors is often just as important as understanding our clients’ own. We conduct searches and prior art reviews to help recognise the threats and opportunities for a range of our clients and provide advice to help realise their commercial objectives.

Services

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Patents

Our European, UK and German experts advise on the creation, exploitation and enforcement of IP rights across a wide range of sectors. They provide creative IP solutions and outstanding client service.

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Trade marks

Our highly skilled experts are experienced negotiators and have particular expertise in the management of large portfolios; searching and watching; domain name recovery; and trading standards and customs work.

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Global plant breeders’ rights and national listings

The team supports horticultural and biopharma clients, has significant experience in UK plant breeders' rights, can assist clients in obtaining rights across Europe and offers advice on infringement risks associated with rights held by third parties.

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Bulletins

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Xiaomi vs HM (Beijing) Laser & Nc Development Co., Ltd (“HM Ltd”)

Case overview In the recent invalidity decision, the proprietor was HM Laser, a manufacturer of laser cutting machines. The Applicant was Xiaomi,

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Romania to join UPC in Autumn 2024

On 11 April 2024, Romania published its ratification of the UPC Agreement. The ratification now needs to be deposited with the EU.

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Fast track patent programmes for green technology

The importance of green technology to society has seen the implementation a number of fast-track patent programmes for green technology by patent

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“And another thing…” UK IPO publishes updated AI Guidelines following last year’s Emotional Perception decision

Until late last year, the law relating to the patentability of AI-innovations at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) had been

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Patents