Your design documents, such as CAD drawings or fashion sketches, have some automatic protection by copyright. In the United Kingdom we also have unregistered design right. The UK intellectual property office has some basic information available.
If the appearance of your product is important, then registered design is a very valuable asset, particularly if you are in one of those industries where competition is fierce. Designs can be registered at the European Union level or for the UK alone. With Brexit looming, UK design registration is becoming more important for local businesses. Design protection doesn’t cost a lot and can last for up to 25 years. The official fees are low. However, economising on choosing how to represent your design is always a mistake. Take professional advice or risk the fate of the Trunki designer who found himself with a design registration that was not infringed by what he thought was a flagrant copy.