A registered design gives protection to the shape of a product e.g. lines, colors or any three-dimensional form if it is intended by the creator to be used as a model or pattern to be multiplied by industrial process and is not intended solely to obtain a technical result. The idea is to prevent others from reproducing the external design of the product.
The owner of a registered design can prevent others from reproducing, importing, illicitly profiting, selling or utilizing for commercial purposes by reproducing the design.
The Intellectual Property (IP) associated with a business name or system can be one of its most valuable assets – but only if it is properly exploited and protected.
Any business that wishes to establish a national or international identity should take steps to protect the use of its name, logo or other IP.
This is preferably done at the outset when it is simpler, more efficient and more effective.
The protection of Industrial designs focuses on the aesthetic value and nature of a finished product, distinct from any technical or functional aspects. If a design relates to a functional feature or improves on the functionality of a product, it will not be registrable as an industrial design and is more suitable for patent protection.
Where a design is not intended to be multiplied by an industrial process, it may be suitable for copyright protection. This category covers works of art such as sculpture, drawing and paintings.
A registered design is protected for a period of 5 years from the date of the application for registration. Protection may be renewed for two further consecutive periods of 5 years.
- The design should be new.
- The applicant must not have published the design before seeking to register the design.
- The applicant must provide a specimen of the design.
- The applicant must also provide basic information including the name of the applicant, address, an indication of the kind of products associated with the design, and the title of the design.