The Easiest Way to Understand “Design” in 3 Minutes

What is the design or industrial design?

The industrial design focuses on the physical appearance, and manufacturability of a product, the design is a feast for the eyes, how something apparently looks like is the main reason for an individual to pick it up over others. Entrepreneurs put a lot of effort in picking up the right design for the product to make it more eye-catching and appealing to its target audience. With the emergence of industry, the competition between businesses has been increasing just to make the product more unique in its physical appearance, functionality, and manufacturability. In simpler words, when industrialization is required to produce a product, it involves a functional value into it, which one can call industrial design. Industrial design is the professional practice of designing, creating, and developing ideas and specifications that enhance the ornamental and aesthetic aspects of products and systems for the shared benefit of both users and manufacturers around the world.

What does industrial design cover?

Industrial design covers an extensive range of products of industry, from medical instruments to household products including their architectural structures as well as textile designs to sports equipment. A diverse collection of products can be protected by registering industrial design, no matter whether the products are economical or luxurious. Primarily, it is a form of intellectual property that focused on protecting the visual features of an article, namely its design, shape, surface pattern, color, configuration or ornament. When these specifications are applied to a functional article, it produces or increases aesthetics, and improves the visual appearance of the design, either it to be a two-dimensional or a three-dimensional article.

How can one protect the design?

Timely registration of industrial design protects the appearance of the whole or a part of a product and gives the exclusive right to the owner to make, sell, and use articles that embody the protected design. However, once the product is marketed, industrial designs can be easily copied by competitors. With a design registration in place, the owner can protect the product from copying and counterfeiting. It also prohibits third parties and copycats from misusing (manufacturing, selling, importing, etc.) products that display an identical or confusingly similar design of it. Adequate protection of the product is essential which doesnt only add up the commercial value to it, but also facilitates its marketing and commercialization, however, it ensures a fair return on investment to the owner.

Where to apply for registration and how long it lasts?

Regarding the protection of industrial design, entrepreneurs have to follow the methods of the jurisdiction or country they fall in, owing to a different registration system in every country. The most effective manner of safeguarding a design is to register with the relevant offices in the geographical area of interest, in accordance with the law of that country. In most countries, industrial design needs to be registered in order to be protected under industrial design law as a registered design” whereas it could be protected under patent law as design patents” as well as works of art” under copyright law. Every country has its own law to protect its intellectual property. 

Apart from the differences existing in each country, an industrial design usually holds a couple of characteristics, such as it should be new, original, and have an individual character. Separately, a registered industrial design period of protection varies from country to country, but it is usually for at least 10 years, although it can generally be extended for consecutive renewable periods.

In a nutshell, a registered industrial design in this world of digital transformation would encourage open competition and fair trade practices. It will sustain the production of a diverse range of aesthetically elegant products across the world.

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