Design protection – a well-considered decision
For every product, the question of how it should look always comes up eventually. If the design is not dictated solely by technical considerations, there is a good chance that you can register it as a design with individual character.
For example, if you're designing a new set of cutlery, it goes without saying that you need to create a new and original design. But when it comes to covers for industrial welding machine, it's likely that the technical requirements are going to be more important.
In both cases, a well-considered strategy for protecting your design right should answer the following questions: what do you want to protect, where and in which countries?
Strategy for protecting your design right – some guidelines
Here are some strategic pointers. Design protection:
- is very simple and inexpensive to apply for > Filing an application
- can be applied for on the basis of drawings – a prototype isn’t necessary > Representing a design
- only relates to the details of a product, e.g. the winding button of a wristwatch relates to two-dimensional patterns or three-dimensional shapes, or a combination of both – the illustrations determine the scope of protection > Creative 2D and 3D designs
- can be combined with other IP rights that already implicitly include the design, e.g. a patent or a three-dimensional trade mark
- requires the design to be new and have individual character, which is not always easy to determine > Design novelty and priority
- is advisable for countries or regions where the product will be manufactured, used, marketed or developed > Applying to register a design nationally or internationally
- can be kept confidential for up to 30 months after applying to register > Deferring publication of a design
European Inventor Award 2021: Swiss researcher in the final
New electronic IP rights administration system for patents and designs from Summer 2021
The IPI ‘Your photo. Your copyright.’ special prize awarded at the LernFilm Festival 2021
CIPCO/IPI ‘Intellectual property law in the age of artificial intelligence’ workshop on 11 June 2021
Swiss Innovation Forum 2020 to be held as an online festival