Design law protection in the digital marketplace

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While copyright and database rights are the IP rights most associated with the protection of software and digital content, design rights can offer real benefits to the digital sector if used and invoked appropriately. This is particularly so since the registered design right is relatively cheap and quick to obtain. 

The Apple/Samsung litigation has highlighted the powerful role these rights can play in protecting the aesthetic features of physical IT products. Design rights can also be used to protect the look of user-experienced designs, such as icons, game characters or features and user interfaces. 

Designs in the UK are protected by five legal rights: EU registered design rights, EU unregistered design rights, UK registered design rights, UK unregistered design rights and artistic copyright…

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