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UDR arises automatically when the design is created, but you should follow the same ‘sealed envelope' procedure described above for copyright to provide yourself with evidence of a priority date.This is because you can only take legal action against someone when you can prove that they must have copied your design, rather than made something similar by coincidence.Applications can be made to most national IP offices, or to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) where a single application can be registered for the whole of the European Community.The same criteria apply as for UDR: to be validly registered the design must be new, have ‘individual character' and be the result of a ‘freedom' of design.Copyright protects for many years against the unauthorised copying or adapting of drawn, written or photographic descriptions of your idea.
But remember that they are binding legal agreements, and use them only when both parties accept that significant disclosure is necessary.
However, it gives you no protection against someone who independently comes up with the same or a similar idea.
A competitor may say that their idea is similar to yours by coincidence, or that your idea is a copy of theirs.
For example, you may know how to reduce production costs significantly by using conventional equipment in an unconventional way.
Know-how can be commercially valuable, and can be included in licensing agreements. There is also no way of registering it and its theft - usually by employees or associates - can be hard to establish.How can your prove that your idea was the original?The following steps may help you to prove that you are the copyright owner in a later dispute: In the EU, unregistered design right (UDR) protects the outward appearance of a product, including its shape, pattern, texture and decorations.In some national UDR laws (for example, the UK) internal configurations may be protected even if these are invisible to the user.