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Designs are concerned with the appearance in whole or in part of an article. The design of an article may include, shape, contours, texture, colour and ornamentation, but excludes those elements whose appearance is determined by their function. Protection of the shape/appearance of an article may be an important part of a commercial strategy, particularly with consumer oriented products such as medical devices, medications and packaging, and may serve as a useful further blocking strategy to limit competition in the market.
Many countries have design protection laws, and broadly there are two forms of protection available: Registered and unregistered.
Similar protection is available in other countries outside the European Union but the level of protection, availability and the term varies. It is highly advisable to seek early professional advice on protecting the design of your product to maximise this cost effective and efficient form of intellectual property right.
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