Guidance

License, mortgage, sell, change ownership and market your design

Benefit from your design by licensing, mortgaging, selling, changing ownership and exploit by marketing.

1. Licensing your design

You can give someone else permission to use your registered design by granting them a licence. The terms of any licence are entirely a matter between you and the licensee, and we do not have any powers to investigate the validity of a licence.

IP BASICS: Should I license or franchise my Intellectual Property?

You or the licensee should register the licence, or cancellation of a licence, with us and we will record it in the register of designs.

1.1 Registering a design licence

To register a licence you must complete registered design form DF12A. This form is not a substitute for the assignment document or other proof of the transaction. We may ask you to provide written proof of the transaction.

We suggest you check the proprietor’s name and the designs they own by doing a proprietor search on our website before you fill in the form.

1.2. Cancelling a design licence of right

You can cancel a licence at any time.

To cancel a licence you must complete registered design form DF12A.

1.3. Licences terms for unregistered rights

You can request to settle or adjust terms of a licence for an unregistered design right.

To do this you must complete design right form DRF3.

2. Mortgaging your design

You can use your registered design as security for a loan. The mortgagor has a legal right in your design until you repay the loan. You or the mortgagor should register the mortgage with us and we will then record it in the register of designs.

To register your design as security you must complete registered designs form DF12A.

3. Selling or transferring ownership of your design

You are free to sell or transfer ownership of your registered design to someone else. If you do, you must tell us so we can record the change in the register of designs. This includes any change of ownership as a result of company mergers. The legal term for a transfer of ownership is an assignment.

To record your assignment you must complete registered designs form DF12A.

If the applicant or proprietor has only changed its name, please use registered design form DF16A.

4. Marketing your design

You may want to involve others to help exploit, develop or market your design. We do not give direct advice on this, but help is available.

4.1. National advice

Chamber of Commerce - offering a comprehensive range of cost effective business services.

Enterprise Europe Network - advice, consultation and training on intellectual property rights.

Institute of Patentees and Inventors - helping you to exploit your invention.

4.2. Regional advice

Gov.uk - practical advice on starting up, finance and grants, employing people and exploiting your ideas.

Welsh Assembly Government Support - providing impartial information and advice in Wales for your business questions.

Scottish Enterprise - practical advice on developing new ideas.

Invest Northern Ireland - offering advice and assistance on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Published 26 September 2014
Last updated 22 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Video added to guide 'IP BASICS: Should I license or franchise my Intellectual Property?'.
  2. First published.