Industrial Design Protection

What is an Industrial Design Protection?

The Industrial Design right is another type of Intellectual Property protection. The design or designing is the process of converting an object from its existing state to its preferred state. Industrial design protects the aesthetic value of an object. An industrial design consists of three-dimensional features such as a shape of an object or configuration of an object.  Additionally, the industrial design consists of two-dimensional features such as pattern or ornamentation of an object. The industrial designs are developed by industrial designers that are qualified to create unique designs as per the requirements of the client or manufacturer. Industrial designs are an outcome of an elaborative collection, analysis and synthesis of data which is used for guidance of designing a unique product. Industrial designers are trained to prepare clear and precise designs through drawings, models and descriptions. Some of the few examples of famous industrial designs are Mini Cooper, Piaggio Vespa Scooter, Rocking wheelchair and Cipher drinking glass.

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines “An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. A design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape of an article or surface of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colour.”

The Office of Intellectual Property of India defines “An industrial design refers to a creative activity which results in the ornamental or formal appearance of a product and design right refers to a novel or original design that is accorded to the proprietor of a validity registered design.”

Industrial design refers to one of the categories of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) where the system focuses on only the aesthetic design feature of an article derived from its visual appearance. Designs that are linked to technical or functional aspects are granted patent rights.

An Industrial design is used for both applied art and science to improve the aesthetics, design, ergonomics, functionality, and usability of a product. The Industrial Design may also be used to improve the marketability and production of the product. The Industrial Design is a key factor that attracts any person towards a product and helps in preferring one product over another. For example, a person gets attracted to a coffee mug or a smartphone after seeing its design.

In layman terms, the industrial design protects beauty or marketability of a product, which is directly related to the commercial value of the product. In addition, the Industrial Design ensures a fair return on investment by taking it to the public at large. The Industrial Design also empowers economic development in whole and therefore needs good protection.

An industrial design cannot be protected if:

  • It is not new or original.
  • It has been previously disclosed to the public anywhere in any country.
  • It does not show any significant difference from already known other designs.

It contains scandalous or obscene matter.

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