What is a Design Right?
FEB 22, 2017
The Apple Macintosh, Coca-Cola bottle, McDonald’s french fry cup, Vespa scooter, escalator, floppy disk, and the jet engine are some of the most iconic product designs in the world. These designs were all able to blend looks with function, in a way that appealed to the eyes of consumers. This field is known as industrial design, which is protected by a design right.
A design right protects the shape of objects and is based purely on their ornamental or visual qualities. It can include three-dimensional features such as shape as well as two-dimensional features such as lines, textile, and patterns.
Design right laws protect products such as furniture, jewelry, electronic devices, textile and packaging. To protect a design, it must be registered under the design rights registration law administered by a national intellectual property office.
In order to secure design right protection, a design must be new. Generally, this means that the de-sign must not have been disclosed to the public prior to the application, and it must be different from known designs. Also, your design cannot be offensive, make use of protected emblems or flags and contribute to the function of the product.
Like all other intellectual property rights, the owner of a design right has the right to prevent others from using their design without their permission, including reproducing the design, selling and importing products with an identical or similar design.
Once registered, a design is protect-ed for a period of five years and can be renewed for subsequent five-year periods, up to a total of 25 years. Where the design right is not renewed or the period of 25 years has expired, the design is free to be used by members of the public.
Besides functionality, consumers are drawn to visually appealing products. The appearance of your product can therefore be the deciding factor between you and your competitors. It is important that you keep this in mind when developing your business strategy. Investing in a good product design gives you add-ed protection for least five years. It also strengthens your brand by add-ing another level of protection for your product.
Registering an industrial design can generate an additional revenue stream, if the design were to be li-censed or sold. Furthermore, a good design can convey a positive image about your product and, in turn, your company. Lastly, design rights also are business assets which can increase the value of your company and products.
So, before you think about throwing your product in a simple glass jar or regular cardboard box, think about Tortuga Rum Cake’s packaging and get creating Cayman!
Published in www.caymaniantimes.ky