Companies large and small spend huge sums of money developing a particular look and feel to their products. A brand image and reputation which is often reflected in the quality of their products. But what happens when a rival company imitates that look to take advantage of the market that the successful product operates in? The imitator can come into the market with reduced development costs and take advantage of the market that now exists for that product that the existing company created. However it is possible to copy an existing product so closely that it is difficult to distinguish the two. This can potentially damage the sales of the proven product already on the market and damage its reputation. The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of intellectual Property (IP) in the UK and Europe in both the design process and the competitive business environment. The research will focus on the different methods of protecting ideas and how they are infringed with a slant towards design rights. Case studies will be taken from the smart phone and tablet markets in light of recent (and on?going) litigations in this area.