Industrial Copyright

Some countries offer copyright protection to the design (i.e. the appearance) of industrial articles, such as household appliances, tools, electrical and electronic goods, footwear, etc, etc (subject to certain qualifying conditions being met). In the UK, however, the design of an industrial article is not generally protected by copyright. Instead, copyright-like protection is afforded for a more limited duration by ""Unregistered Design Right"".

Design drawings for industrial articles will still themselves benefit from copyright protection (i.e. the drawings cannot be photocopied without the permission of the copyright owner). But the making of the article shown in the drawings does not infringe copyright in the drawings.

If you have a specific question about copyright in industrial articles then a member of our Designs & Copyright team will be happy to help you.

This information is simplified and must not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or practice.