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Industrial Designs Tamara Nanayakkara Counsellor Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Division World Intellectual Property Organization.

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Presentation on theme: "Industrial Designs Tamara Nanayakkara Counsellor Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Division World Intellectual Property Organization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Industrial Designs Tamara Nanayakkara Counsellor Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Division World Intellectual Property Organization

2 Design Protection The law protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of the product (not the product itself) Includes lines, colours, shapes, contours, texture etc

3 Product Defined broadly to include industrial or handicraft products Packaging, typefaces, logos Includes designs of parts intended to be assembled into a complex product and which remain visible after assembly and during normal use

4 Context Heightened Competition More and more enterprises producing goods performing the same function Consumers increasingly powerful and demanding What makes the goods of one enterprise different to those of others Why should I buy your product?

5 What is an Industrial Design? three-dimensional designs shape of products




9 Do you want a watch or a Swatch? The Swatch Group is among the ten largest users of the system for international deposit of industrial designs (103 applications in 2001) Distinctive look

10 Two Dimensional Design Ornamentation, patterns, lines or color on a product

11 Its the design, One way of differentiating similar products is through design Make product attractive and different from the competition. Does not need monumental changes, simple changes could keep a product exciting

12 Rationale for Protection

13 Provides incentive for creativity in design Return on investment Encourages fair competition and honest trade practices

14 Intellectual Property Rights Innovative products or processes Cultural artistic and literary works Creative designs Distinctive signs Microchips Goods of a given quality due to its geographical origin Confidential business information Patents or utility models Copyright and related designs Industrial design rights Trademark, Collective mark Layout-designs or topographies of integrated circuits. Geographical indications Trade secrets

15 Designs Registered design right Unregistered design right

16 Requirements Novel Original Individual character

17 Novelty it should not have been disclosed to the public anywhere before the filing date (or the date of first public disclosure in the case of unregistered rights)

18 Grace period A grace period of one year for disclosure to the public before application for registration

19 Individual character It must be apparent to an informed user (not an expert) that the design is different from products which existed previously.

20 Excluded from protection Designs dictated solely by technical function or else other manufacturers would be excluded from producing that product Designs with official symbols or emblems Designs contrary to public order or morality

21 Spare parts Some effort to remove protection from visible replacement parts of cars (bonnets, bumpers, doors, lamps, rear protection panels, windscreens)

22 Obtaining protection formal examination of application leaving the design to be opposed or cancelled by interested parties Registration valid upto 25 years

23 Obtaining protection abroad IP Rights territorial. Rights obtained in a country are only valid in that country. For obtaining rights in other countries the options are: The regional route – Single application at one of the regional offices; ARIPO, Benelux Design Office; OHIM, OAPI The international route - Hague agreement - Administered by WIPO (46 countries)

24 Scope of Rights The right to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation by third parties Exclude all others making, offering, importing, exporting or selling product with the design

25 Registered vs unregistered designs Registered design Registration required Protection up to 25 years Protected against both deliberate copying and the independent development of a similar design Unregistered design (EU) Right available upon making the design available to the public Protection up to 3 years Infringement only if the design was copied

26 Beyond Exclusivity An intangible asset Strengthen brand increasing commercial value of a company and its products Strategic partnerships joint ventures May be licensed (or sold)

27 Enforcing Industrial Designs Responsibility on owner of the ID to monitor, identify imitators and decide on action Advice of IP lawyer Cease and desist letter to infringer Search and seize order cooperation with customs authorities to prevent importation of infringing goods.

28 Other Legal Instruments for protecting Designs Trademarks Three dimensional mark Copyright Two dimensional designs considered works of art

29 Designs vs TM As design rights can protect much of what could be protected by TM (stylized words, logos, typefaces and packaging) making double protection possible


31 Advantages of Design right vs TM Design can be enforced against use of the design on any product whereas TM is confined to the class of goods No requirement of use Could be used to protect marks that are not distinctive No need to prove confusion or reputation Usually simpler and cheaper application process

32 Disadvantages of Design right vs TM TM protection could be perpetual whereas design rights are limited in time TM have no novelty requirement Pure word marks, sounds and smells can only be protected by TM

33 Designs vs copyright Registered designs are infringed whether or not there was deliberate copying Registered design right needs registration (unless unregistered rights are recognized) Design protection is only for a short duration


35 Website Please consult the SMEs Division website at

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