You can register the look of a product you’ve designed to stop people copying or stealing it.
The look of your design includes the:
• physical shape
• configuration (or how different parts of a design are arranged together)
Benefits to registering your design
• protects any aspect of your design, eg both the product’s shape and decoration
• gives you the right to prevent others from using it for up to 15 years - you have to renew your registered design every five years
• makes taking legal action against infringement and copying more straightforward
Once registered, you can display your registration number on your design.
Shapes of objects may already be automatically protected by design right, but it’s easier to protect your design if you register it.
Anyone can apply to register a design, whether or not they reside in Bermuda. But you must provide an address for service in Bermuda to which all official correspondence can be sent. If you use a local agent to apply for you, you will need to complete a Address for Service with Agent Form..
To register your design, it must:
• be new
• not be offensive (eg feature graphic images or words)
• not make use of protected emblems or flags (eg the Olympic rings or the Royal Crown)
• not be an invention or how a product works - you’ll need a patent instead
You cannot protect the functionality of a design - eg a chair that folds down more quickly than others of the same kind.
Search the registers
You should search the following design registers to check if your design is unique:
• Registry General database
• World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
How to register
You must complete an Application to Register a Design. Your application should:
• State which of the 14 classes the design is to be registered in
• Provide a brief summary of the design
• Include three sets of drawings of the design (photographs and tracings are also acceptable) viewed from different angles and highlighting all original features
• include the $180 application fee
The application may only be for one design in one class. If you wish to register the design in additional classes, you must submit a new application form and $180 application fee for each class.
What happens after the application is received?
After the application is received at the Registry General it will be examined to determine whether the same, or a similar, design is already registered. If not, the design will be entered in the Register of Designs, and a certificate of registration will be issued.
The application fee is $180. Additional fees for designs are given in Summary of Design Fees For 2016-17. Fees can be paid by cash, cheque (payable to the Accountant General), Government Revenue Stamps, or credit/debit cards.
If your design is registered in the U.K., you have the same rights in relation to your design as if the UK certificate of registration was extended to Bermuda.