What is an Industrial Design?
In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.
What kind of products can benefit from an industrial design right offer?
Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft items: from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs may also be relevant to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and logos.
What kind of protection does an Industrial Design right offer?
In principle, the owner of a registered industrial design or of a design patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.
How are an industrial Designs protected?
In most countries, an industrial design needs to be registered in order to be protected under industrial design law as a “registered design”. In some countries, industrial designs are protected under patent law as “design “Patents”.
Industrial design laws in some countries grant – without registration – time- and scope limited protection to so-called “unregistered industrial designs”.
Depending on the particular national law and the kind of design, industrial designs may also be protected as works of art under copyright law.
How long does an industrial protection last?
Industrial design rights are granted for a limited period. The duration of the protection of industrial designs varies from country to country, but it amounts at least to 10 years. In many countries, the total duration of protection is divided into successive renewable periods.
How are an Industrial Design rights enforced?
Industrial design rights are usually enforced in a court, generally on the initiative of the owner of the rights, as provided for by the applicable law. The remedies and penalties vary from country to country and could be civil (injunctions to desist from an infringement, payment of damages, etc.), criminal or administrative.
What is the different between an industrial right and a Patent?
An industrial design right protects only the appearance or aesthetic features of a product, whereas a patent protects an invention that offers a new technical solution to a problem. In principle, an industrial design right does not protect the technical or functional features of a product. Such features could, however, potentially be protected by a patent.