1.2. Design rights: What a design right protects

Date Published

The design right granted under the Designs Act is a monopoly in a design. It is not a monopoly in a product or in the trading of the product bearing the design.

A design gives a specific product its own particular appearance. Without the design, the product would still have its basic character – i.e. a chair would still be a chair and a table would still be a table.


A design right for a design of a fork will prevent others from making forks that have the same or a substantially similar design. It cannot be used to prevent anyone from making forks in general – only forks that are identical or substantially similar in overall impression to that design.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Designs manual review 2024 - no changes

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