Registered Industrial Designs

When we think of intellectual property potection, we usually think of patents, trade-marks and copyright. Less top of mind are registered industrial designs. They protect unique, non-utilitarian design aspects of an article. While they are thought of as a patent – indeed, in the US they are called design patents and are contained within the utility patent database – they are really more akin to trade-marks and copyright.

Read more in my Free Press article on my blog, or on the Free Press site. (For some reason it hasn’t made the Canoe Tech page yet this week.)


  1. Hi David: In your article you recommend people search existing industrial designs to ensure they are not infringing on someone else’s design. What do you suggest for this–can people effectively search the Industrial Design Database on the CIPO website themselves, or are there agencies or others who conduct this kind of research?

  2. People can take a look at the database themselves – the key is searching on the right description of the product. Anyone who registers designs can do a search if the person wants help.