Design protection is an important business asset for companies of all sizes, not just bigger ones.
EUIPO’s research shows that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which own designs have 17% higher revenue per employee than SMEs that do not own any intellectual property rights.
Designs are well defined in the European Union:
'The appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation'.
Examples of designs
Almost any industrial or handicraft item can be eligible for design protection (except for computer programs)
Packaging of productsRCD 002710731-0001
A product / set of productsRCD 002490193-0001
Composite productsRCD 000408166-0001
Parts of productsRCD 229752-0001
Computer iconsRCD 003001494-0002
Graphic designsRCD 004547370-0002
Web designRCD 003465632-0001
A little bit of theory
The concept behind intellectual property (IP) is straightforward and has been with us for a long time. Wherever we go, we are surrounded by intellectual property.
Mere thoughts and ideas do not qualify; intellectual property defines and protects human innovations and creations
- Trade marks signal the origin of products to consumers
- Designs specify how products look
- Copyright relates to artistic creations, such as books, music, paintings, sculptures and films
- Patents protect technical inventions in all fields of technology
Intellectual property rewards innovators and enables everyone to benefit from their achievements.
The Intellectual Property Metro: designers often re-create ideas to make something new, useful and unique. Download this map – it will help you register your rights.
More resources on IP