1.) What’s an Industrial Design?
An Industrial Design can be compared to that of a Design Patent in the USA. It is essentially a type of intellectual property that is used for the protection of aesthetic or ornamental part of a product. It can be applied to the shape, colour, patterns, and configuration of a product whether they are features that are two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
2.) What are the differences between an Industrial Design and a Patent?
An Industrial Design differs from a Patent in that a Patent protects the functional aspects of a product whereas an Industrial Design is for the protection of the visual aspects of an existing product. In layman’s terms, a Patent could cover the Design of a functional aspect of a mobile phone while an Industrial Design would cover the shape, colour, and style of the phone from the outside.
3.) What can be protected by an Industrial Design and what can’t?
The shape, colouring, patterns and anything else that would be considered as an aesthetic part of a product can be protected by an Industrial Design. Any part of a product that provides a process, method or function cannot be covered by an Industrial Design and would need a different intellectual property to be used instead.
4.) What rights does the owner of an Industrial Design have?
Essentially, an Industrial Design prohibits others from copying the aesthetic Design of a product whether a substantial part of the product or in its entirety. An Industrial Design gives the owner exclusive ownership of the aesthetic Design of their product that is legally binding. In principle, the owner of a registered Industrial Design or of a Design Patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a Design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected Design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.
5.) Can I have an Industrial Design and a Patent to protect my product?
Yes, if your existing product has functional or moving parts that you wish to protect as well as the aesthetic Design you can file a Patent Application for the former and an Industrial Design for the latter. This will give you the legal ownership of both the Patent of how your product works and also the shape, colour, and Design of how it looks.