Intellectual Property.

Navigating the intellectual property landscape can be a challenging task.
We can help you avoid patent infringement and maximise the value of any new intellectual property.

You’re likely to have questions such as how do I protect my design idea? Do I need a patent? What is design registration? Should I ask my suppliers to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement? Where can I find an intellectual property lawyer? And how much does this all cost?

Intellectual Property (IP) plays a crucial role in the product development journey by providing legal protections that can enhance a products’ marketability, profitability and competitive edge. The originality of your product – what makes it unique – is what you will want to protect.

There are four main types of IP protection, which include Copyright, Trademarks, Design Registration and Patents. Each type of IP protection serves a specific purpose and provides various advantages, collectively ensuring that creators, inventors and businesses can secure and capitalise on their intellectual and creative investments. It is likely that both Design Registration and Patents will be relevant to your product development – each of these offering different commercial and legal advantages.

Ultimately, it is entirely your choice as to whether you chose to protect your product design. Not all of our clients go down the route of gaining IP protection for numerous reasons, as it can be a costly and time-consuming process. However, our team can discuss your options and sign post you towards a suitable legal professional.

Our Approach.

Our trademarked Rapid Product Development (RPD) Pathway is central to every project. Whether you want to work with us to design an award winning consumer product, or a game changing medical device – we will walk you through a series of stages so that we can achieve the best outcome for your business. Our design management approach ensures that your technical, commercial and financial risks are mitigated throughout the entire development journey.

1 - Foresight

We will determine the technical and commercial viability of your design idea at the start of your journey.

2 - Concept

Then, using digital sketching, we'll explore a variety of possibilities to establish the best design direction.

3 - Development

Our expert team will create your product in a virtual environment with specialist in-house 3D CAD software.

4 - Detail

Prototyping technologies will allow us to test your design - ensuring that it meets the needs of its users.

5 - Optimise

Final refinements will be made so that we can prepare the engineering data needed to manufacture your product.

6 - Verify

It may then be necessary to engage an external test house to verify that your product meets safety regulations.

7 - Handover

Finally, we'll provide access to our network of manufacturing partners to produce the product we have created.

Case Study.

PFL Healthcare, the creator of Snoreeze sleeping aids, aimed to reduce costs and environmental impact in their product offering. Specifically, they sought to eliminate the need for disposable tongs when submerging their oral device in boiling water to encourage softening. Our solution was a two-piece polycarbonate enclosure with an integrated clip feature, allowing users to attach the oral device to the packaging and place it on top of a cup full of boiling water. This innovative design not only streamlines the mouth-moulding process, but also distinguishes the product in the market by removing the need for disposable tongs. ITERATE worked closely with PFL Healthcare throughout the design process to optimise the design for high-volume production. As a result, the new product is now available for purchase at Boots stores nationwide. This project showcases PFL Healthcare’s commitment to cost-efficiency and sustainability, making their Snoreeze brand more eco-conscious.

Our Work.

We have achieved ISO 9001 & 13485 accreditation, enabling us to offer product design, research, development and
prototyping consultancy to private companies and public sector organisations in medical, consumer and industrial markets.

Customers & Partners.

“Gethin and his team have been excellent designing a reasonably complex medical device during the lockdown for Airway Medical. Without being able to sit round a table and discuss the design, they came up with a way to expedite the project in a timely manner. I’m very pleased with the results and would recommend talking to them if you have a design project in mind.”

Simon Hall, CEO, Airway Medical Ltd.


What is intellectual property, and why is it important in product design?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is crucial in product design because it protects the unique aspects of a product, giving the creator exclusive rights to use and commercialise their creation. This legal protection encourages innovation by ensuring designers can profit from their work without fear of unauthorised copying or exploitation. It also fosters a competitive market, as companies invest in original designs to differentiate themselves.

Ultimately, IP protection promotes creativity, investment and economic growth by safeguarding inventors’ and designers’ interests.

ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney so please get in contact for further information.

How do I determine which type of intellectual property protection is appropriate for my product design?

Determining the appropriate intellectual property (IP) protection for your product design depends on its characteristics. If your design includes new functional aspects, a utility patent is suitable. For unique visual elements, consider a design patent. Use trademarks for distinctive logos, names, or slogans associated with your product. If the design involves artistic or literary elements, copyright protection applies. For confidential business information or processes that provide a competitive edge, trade secrets are the best option. Evaluate your product’s features and business goals to choose the right IP protection and consult an IP attorney for tailored advice and assistance.

ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney.

How long does intellectual property protection last for product designs?

In the UK, the duration of intellectual property (IP) protection for product designs varies by type. Registered designs are protected for up to 25 years, subject to renewal every 5 years. Unregistered design rights protect the appearance of a product for up to 10 years after it was first sold or 15 years after creation, whichever is earlier.

Trademarks can last indefinitely, provided they are renewed every 10 years. Copyright protection typically lasts for the creator’s lifetime plus 70 years. Trade secrets can last indefinitely as long as the information remains confidential and provides a competitive edge.

ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney.

What types of intellectual property protection are available for product designs?/b>

Several types of intellectual property (IP) protection are available for product designs. Patents protect new, useful and non-obvious inventions, covering functional aspects of products. Design patents safeguard the unique visual qualities of a product’s design. Trademarks protect symbols, names, and slogans used to identify and distinguish goods or services, ensuring brand recognition. Copyright protects original works of authorship, including artistic and literary works, which can apply to certain design elements. Trade secrets protect confidential business information, providing an edge over competitors.

Each type of IP offers specific protections, enabling designers to secure their innovations and maintain competitive advantages. ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney.

What steps should I take to protect my product design's intellectual property?

To protect your product design’s intellectual property (IP), follow these steps:

First, document your design process, including sketches and prototypes. Conduct a thorough search to ensure your design doesn’t infringe on existing IP.

Decide on the appropriate type of protection—patents for functional aspects, design patents for visual elements, trademarks for brand identifiers, copyrights for artistic components, or trade secrets for confidential information.

File the necessary applications with relevant authorities.

Finally, enforce your IP rights by monitoring for infringements and taking legal action when necessary. Consulting an IP attorney is advisable and ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney.

What should I do if I suspect someone is infringing on my product design's intellectual property rights?

If you suspect someone is infringing on your product design’s intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK, take these steps:

First, gather evidence of the infringement, such as photos, samples, or documentation. Consult an IP attorney to assess the strength of your case. Send a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer, outlining your rights and demanding they stop the infringement. If this fails, consider mediation or negotiation to resolve the issue. As a last resort, initiate legal proceedings through the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court or the High Court. Protecting your IP rights ensures the value and integrity of your designs. ITERATE can point you in the direction of a good IP attorney.

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