What is an industrial design?
An industrial design is unique form of a patent, which is used to protect an improvement in functionality. If the innovation you are attempting to acquire protection for is rooted in improved usability rather than visual appearance, you should consider filing a patent application if you judge that it meets the requirements for patentability. Similarly, these changes do not shield intangible goods that are not visible to the eye.
What benefits does registration provide?
For business owners, an industrial design registration may be a important business asset. The success of a product is generally influenced by its form; in an aesthetic-driven consumer base, the looks of a designer product can often be equally or more important than its functionality.
Obtaining exclusive rights to a product with a specific appearance may result in a significant return on the investment because it will allow you to preclude others from reproducing a popular design.
If someone infringes on your design, you may bring your case to court and be awarded damages for the lost sales as a result of the infringement of your design registration. As with a copyright, an industrial design can be sold or licensed to others.
Further, your industrial design registration can help you establish goodwill in the trademark sense in a specific shape and appearance of the article, which is referred to as its get-up in trademark law. This can add to the overall protection you have in keeping others from copying your design.