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Designs for Life - an essential overview of design protection, enforcement and exploitation

22 May 2017

Designers are creative people - they are often the faceless masterminds behind products or ideas of tremendous value. But how does a designer protect their own brand value and create a 'design for life'?

We have produced practical, easy-to-read guides, as well as podcasts and videos with industry experts, to offer designers tips on how to protect their ideas in today's market and create brand value. For an introduction to design protection, please listen to our short podcast by John Coldham, a director in our Brands & Designs team.

Designs for Life: a practical, end-to-end guide for designers

Making the most of designs

Protecting and exploiting design in the age of disruption

Feedback from designers on the Design for Life series and podcasts

For a quick guide to design protection, listen to our podcast from John Coldham in our Brands and Designs team.

Designs for Life: a practical, end-to-end guide to designs

We have created an essential guide to design law. Made for designers, the guide explores the key considerations in the design, protection and enforcement process.

In this three-part series, we journey through the process of design, from inception to exploitation and enforcement, considering the steps from the point-of-view of the designer and design-led business. This is not a dry trawl through the case-law but a practical, end-to-end guide to designs, put together by our Design team.

The following links will take you to the articles online:

Part I: Design stage examines the development of the design concept, including the critical factors for ensuring that protection is maximised from the outset.

Part II: Bringing the design to market looks at bringing the design to market, exploring the considerations in regards to manufacturing, distribution, and protection. It is a fact of life that if a design is successful, it is likely to be copied or used as a "source of inspiration". Strategies on how best to deal with infringers will also be examined.

Part III: Exploitation, common problems and extended protection looks at ways to exploit designs to maximise the return on investment, including licensing, licences of right, ways to extend protection, and common problems that design owners encounter in the design field.

You can also download our Designs for Life handbook or, to receive a free hardcopy, contact John Coldham.

Making the most of designs

Our Design team hosted a London Design Festival event alongside three of Britain's leading designers: Richard Joseph (Joseph Joseph), Martin Darbyshire (tangerine) and Rob Law (Trunki).

Following the event, John Coldham discussed 'making the most of designs' with the three speakers. Listen to podcasts of these interviews here:

Richard Joseph, Co-Founder, Joseph Joseph

Martin Darbyshire, Founder, tangerine

Rob Law, Founder of Trunki

The interviews were recorded in September 2015.

Protecting and exploiting design in the age of disruption

As part of London Design Festival, we hosted a Q&A event on the importance of protecting innovation with guest-speakers including Nikki Barton (Autotrader, Nokia, Microsoft), Matt Round (tangerine), Marion Gillet (Design Council) and Alex Smilansky (Mayku).

We produced a series of videos with the speakers, talking about protecting and exploiting design in the age of disruption. Watch the videos here:

Don't make the mistake of leaving IP behind - Matt Hervey

Protect your design, your way - Marion Gillet

Design protection in the digital world - Nikki Barton

The value of safeguarding innovation - Matt Round

Create a constant conversation - Alex Smilansky

The interviews were recorded in September 2016.

Feedback from designers on the Design for Life series and podcasts

"..the Designs for Life booklet is fab and a brilliant one stop shop of information"
Head of Legal at Trunki

"I really enjoyed your series on Designs, well written and informative - it should be compulsory reading for all budding designers"
Katrina Burchell, former head of trade marks at Unilever and now director at Burchell Consulting

"It flows very sensibly and logically from one step to the next, checking off each of the crucial considerations along the way."
Derek Tong, editor of World Intellectual Property Report, the original publisher of the article series

"easy listening and very informative"
Adam Wilder, Trade Marks Counsel at Unilever

Our Brands and Designs team can help protect your creativity with design law expertise at every level.


NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.

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