In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental aspect of an article.
An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. (source WIPO)
A design or drawing relates to the appearance of a product or part of a product, for example a new design for headphones, a watch, a coffee-maker, clothing or bag. The appearance, which is also referred to as the design, results from features such as lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or the materials of the product itself or its ornamentation. The design must be novel and have individual character.
What kind of protection does an industrial design right offer?
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.
What kind of products can benefit from industrial design protection?
Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft items: from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs may also be relevant to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and logos.
How are industrial designs protected?
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.