What is a Industrial Design?
Industrial Designs can be registered for a wide range of products, including computers, telephones, CD-players, textiles, jewelry and watches.
Registered Industrial designs protect only the appearance of products, for example the look of a computer monitor. Registration of the design does not protect the way in which the product relating to the design works. Protection for the way in which a product works may be available under patent law. Computer software is protected under copyright law.
Registered industrial design owners have the right to prevent others from manufacturing, importing, using, selling, or hiring the design product.
Why Register Industrial Design before Launch/Disclosure.
Novelty is one of the necessary conditions for granting a registered industrial design.
If something is known to the public, it is not a novel invention and non-patentable. For example, where the innovation is a product which has already been sold, or a process that has already been used, this prior use/disclosure will disqualify the innovation from being patentable.
It is therefore critical to ensure that there is no disclosure of an innovation before making a industrial design application therefor, or alternatively, any prior disclosure of an innovation should be protected by a confidentiality agreement, so as to preserve the novelty of the design.
The “newness” (novelty) of an innovation is assessed as at the date that you file your application for the design, or a priority filing date lawfully claimed in your application.
Once a design is registered, the owner will enjoy an exclusive right of the registered design and protected by law. Without your consent/license, any company and/or individual that uses the design and/or operation method claimed by the registered design for business purposes is a tort, and the owner can take legal action to require the infringer to stop the infringement and even compensate the economic loss.Registered design rights are strictly regional, and registered designs are only legally protected in the jurisdictions where they are registered. Hence, designs registered with the Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China or design registries of other jurisdictions do not automatically receive protection in Hong Kong. In order to obtain protection of a design in Hong Kong, you must register it in Hong Kong.
Documents required for Registration
Strategies that you may take, to protect your own design: -