What are Industrial Designs?
The Industrial Design Act (the Act) defines a “design” as features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation that give a finished article visual appeal. Where a feature applied to an article is wholly functional, protection under the Act cannot be obtained.
Articles which are often protected by design registration include containers, furniture, home appliances, clothing items, fashion accessories, cutlery and glassware.
The Act protects “original” designs. Originality is determined by a strictly visual assessment of the design in the context of the article on which it appears. Since context is vital, small changes in design to articles can constitute protectable original designs. Originality can also be found in an old design put to a new use, if the new design arose from at least a spark of inspiration in the designer.
Should you have any questions regarding industrial design, please contact an intellectual property professional.