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What We Do

Design Registration

Industrial design is a combination of applied art and applied science, whereby the aesthetics and usability of mass-produced products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, user ergonomics, engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.

General Industrial designers are basically conceptual engineers. They study both function and form, and the connection between product and the user. They do not design the gears or motors that make machines move, or the circuits that control the movement, but they can affect technical aspects through usability design and form relationships. And usually, they partner with engineers and marketers, to identify and fulfill needs, wants and expectations.

How Industrial Design can be Protected

In most countries, an industrial design must be registered in order to be protected under industrial design law. As a general rule, to be registrable, the design must be "new" or "original". Different countries have varying definitions of such terms, as well as variations in the registration process itself. Generally, "new" means that no identical or very similar design is known to have existed before. Once a design is registered, the term of protection is generally five years, with the possibility of further periods of renewal up to, in most cases, 15 years.

Depending on the particular national law and the kind of design, an industrial design may also be protected as a work of art under copyright law. In some countries, industrial design and copyright protection can exist concurrently. In other countries, they are mutually exclusive: once the owner chooses one kind of protection, he can no longer invoke the other.

Under certain circumstances an industrial design may also be protectable under unfair competition law, although the conditions of protection and the rights and remedies ensured can be significantly different.

What cannot be protected by Industrial Design rights

Designs that are generally barred from registration in many territories include:

designs that do not meet the requirements of novelty, originality and/or individual character;

designs that are considered to be dictated exclusively by the technical function of a product; such technical or functional design features may be protected, depending on the facts of each case, by other IP rights (e.g. patents, utility models or trade secrets);

designs incorporating protected official symbols or emblems (such as the national flag);

designs which are considered to be contrary to public order or morality.

Some countries exclude handicrafts from design protection, as industrial design law in these countries requires that the product to which an industrial design is applied is “an article of manufacture” or that it can be replicated by “industrial means”.

How can we help you with your Design Registration    

To obtain complete details on design prosecution, requirements and charges, please choose the country in the list here.