Unregistered Design Right
Passing off & trade marks
The shape of a product, its appearance or design that has deliberately chosen for aesthetic or functional reasons
Aspects of a product or process that (usually) exhibit improved performance, reduced complexity, better longevity, or that solve technical problems
Logos, product names, colour schemes, slogans, sounds
Text, graphics, videos, sound recordings, web site content, instruction manuals, technical data sheets, advertising materials
Novelty and individual character
Novelty and non-obviousness
Originality and tangible form
The images shown on the packaging and the text of the instruction manual may be copyright material. Copyright is the original author's exclusive right to make copies of art, photographs, films, designs, sculptures, text etc. and unauthorised copying may amount to copyright infringement.
Patents can be used to protect new and non-obvious technical innovations. For example, the internal circuitry that controls the cooking & defrosting functions, the arrangement of the elements to give more even toasting, the removable crumb tray, the insulated side walls, the packaging and materials used to ship the toaster, etc. could be protected using one or more patents.
The overall appearance of the toaster is probably one of the most important factors when a consumer makes a purchasing decision. The appearance of the toaster (or any of its component parts that are visible during normal use) could be protected using a combination of Design Right and Registered Designs, as could the appearance of the packaging.
There are many other types of IP right as well, such as database right, rights subsisting in plant varieties, the law of confidential information (e.g. trade secrets, know-how, etc.). The table below summarises the key features of a number of IP rights.
Branding and trade marks enable consumers to distinguish between the goods and services of different undertakings. Trade marks can be words, logos, colour schemes, shapes and sounds - provided the mark can be used to distinguish the goods or services concerned. The main functions of marks are to convey a particular level of quality and to guarantee trade origin. Trade marks can be registered or unregistered and may enable the right holder to control who can apply the mark in question to different types of goods and services.