4 steps to protecting your product design
The visual appearance of your commercial or industrial product can be the most appealing part of its value and offer a competitive edge over business rivals. Protecting your product's unique design is a vital part of ensuring that no one replicates it illegally to their own benefit.
However, registering designs is a complex area of intellectual property law that often leaves business owners confused. Alder IP's team of intellectual property lawyers are here to help, specialising in facilitating steps to protecting your product design.
1. Decide if you have a distinctive design
The most difficult step can be deciding whether you actually have a new and distinctive design worth protecting. Is it integral to the function or appeal of your product? Design registration can be time-consuming, so if you don't think it's vital to how your product works, you are better off devoting time and resources to other parts of your business.
- Keep it private
If you are excited about an amazing new product you have designed, it is important to keep it private, even from friends and family. Keeping it under wraps negates the possibility of details being leaked to the wrong people. In order for a design to be registered, it needs to meet criteria of being 'new' and 'distinctive' – suggesting that the design has never existed before anywhere else and looks different from other existing designs.
- Do your research
Before you apply for design registration, it is important to do your research to check if anything similar exists in Australia already. Using the IP Australia website, you can search through the catalogue of registered designs and guarantee your design's newness and distinctive quality. IP Australia will also help you negotiate licensing or purchasing of existing designs.
- Prepare your drawings
Quality and accurate drawings of your design are a vital part of the registration process – they not only determine whether or not the design will work, but also ensure no one else can replicate any of the features. Prepare your drawings by including sketches from a variety of angles, complete with notes on how your product will work or any other relevant information.
Protecting your product design doesn't have to be a complex or stressful process – the team at Alder IP are ready to guide you through every step it takes to keep what is unique to your business unique. For more information on the services we offer, contact us today.