The Law of Designs that Has Moved far Beyond Merely Protecting the Aesthetically Pleasing Products

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A comparison of the legal regulations since the Registered Designs Act 1949 will be drawn to show how the concepts of individual character and novelty, as well as artistic value and eye appeal or attractiveness of a design,have been replaced with the utility and functionality aspects of design. Within the new legal framework, it is functionality that seems to be the focus of the economic value of products and consequently also of legal documentation for designs. This analysis will deal with relevant research studies and legal documentation to explore the reality of the statement that The law of designs has moved far beyond merely protecting the aesthetically pleasing products where eye-appeal is material. It has never been easier to protect purely functional or utility designs than it is at the current time.The two types of design rights recognised by the law seem to form the foundation on which all design rights and patents are judged. One is the registered design right provided by The Registered Designs Act 1949 and the other is the design right or the unregistered design right provided by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 Part III. Later the Registered Designs Act 1949 was substantially amended by The Registered Designs Regulations 2001 as a harmonising directive. Over this, the EC Designs Regulation introduced The Registered Designs Regulations 2003, which came to operation from 1st April 2003, and forms an alternative to national Registered Designs. Through these designs directive, the national Registered Designs must adapt to the standards for the Community Registered Designs. In recent times, there have been considerable changes in the industrial designs law. In this analysis, a detailed discussion on Registered Designs Act 1949 and Registered Design Regulations 2001 will be followed by an overview of the Registered Design Regulations 2003.