Innovative products are characterized by their design. Thus, securing exclusive rights to the design of a product is a critical first step for an inventor seeking to market such a product. It is possible to accomplish this by registering the product’s design with particular entities so consumers can identify and relate the product to its right inventor. With effectively registered designs, consumers can identify and relate the product to its right inventors.
The following article explains why design registration is beneficial for inventors in accordance with the above discussion.
Design Registration: Why It’s Important
Different patent authorities have their own processes and regulations for registering a design, which protects the shape, pattern, and ornamental aspects of a new product. A design is protected for 10 years under the Designs Act, 2000, with five additional years of protection. In India, it is governed by the Designs Act, 2000. As illustrated in the following representation, design protection is a powerful tool for protecting industrial and product designs in the face of stiff market competition, even for developing countries like India.
How does Design Registration Benefit you?
Since it is evident that design registration is quite common these days, let us look at some of the advantages of registering designs under a specific patent authority. It is obvious that design registration will protect you from imitators, but there are also some other benefits of the process:
- Patented designs enhance the commercial value of a product and increase its marketability since a product with a proprietary design increases its positioning among buyers.
- As a result of registering a design, the owner gains the right to sue any imitators. As a result, the design owner is able to maintain his/her market share by retaining exclusivity over their product or industrial design. As of 2019, counterfeit goods account for 3.3% of the total world trade, which means registering designs allows companies the power to litigate against counterfeiters.
- In addition to all the relevant documentation, a registered product or industrial design also includes the concept and design art that differentiate it from the competition. From the Feature, Advantage, and Benefits (FAB) perspective, this gives the design owner a competitive edge in his/her market.
- If your design is registered with a particular patent authority, you may be able to license it out to external manufacturers. To benefit from the lucrative royalties paid by the licensee organization, they can do this within their respective patent jurisdiction.
- A large number of innovators registering their designs creates a competitive spirit among market players on a broad scale. In turn, this leads to further innovation and mutually beneficial outcomes for organizations as well as consumers. This drives research and development (R&D) activities.
- In addition to adding to the applicant organization’s IP portfolio and improving their intangible assets, it provides the applicant organization with the official right to commercialize the product once the design is registered. As a result, these intangible assets often generate additional revenue streams and are often a great investment.
- Having their industrial designs registered under a patent authority gives innovators the additional benefit of the ability to challenge competitor designs for invalidity. Since counterfeit trade losses are extremely high in industries such as footwear, clothing, and electrical equipment, organizations need to have the ability to file for invalidity when similar products or industrial designs are being claimed.
As a conclusion
In spite of design registration’s many benefits, it is important to note that different IP jurisdictions have different rules and regulations. In spite of WIPO’s fixed rules, the Indian Patent Office (IPO) has its own guidelines on design registration. The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks (CGPDTM) of the IPO, for example, grants design registrations in India. To ensure you are fully aware of the rules and regulations of a particular jurisdiction, you can download our guide to industrial design registration in India.