|Certain kinds of designs may be protected by registration. These
include the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting
from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colour,
shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.
A product embraces any industrial or handicraft item, including parts
intended to be assembled into a complete product, packaging, get-up,
graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but does not include computer
programs. In order to be registrable, the design must be new and have
Designs wholly dictated by function are not registrable, i.e. there
must be some aesthetic appeal. There is no protection for features
of shape which are dependent on the appearance of another article
of which the first article is intended to form a part.
The registration of a design secures for the author a monopoly in
respect of that design. The design must be new at the date of application
for registration if a valid registration is to be obtained. Therefore,
it is vital to apply for the protection before making any public disclosure
of the design.
Designs may be registered in Ireland at the Irish Patents Office or
throughout Europe at the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal
Market or individually in most countries. For further information
we would recommend you seek advice from a patent
or trade mark attorney.