Application of Industrial Design
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
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 industrial design 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 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 difference between an industrial design 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.