Industrial Design Search – Ways and Overview


Industrial design search is one of the most important kinds of IPs that are granted for aesthetic appearance of an article. If protected prudently it can reap great benefits to the owner of the design and hence it is important to protect it before you launch your product in the market. Protecting industrial designs becomes even more important for those corporates and companies that are intending to create a brand value for their products or services.

With this article, we are going to discuss what industrial designs basically are and various ways to do an industrial design search. Before we move on to the search part let’s first know what industrial designs are and why should companies protect their designs at all?

What is an Industrial Design?

In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.

What kind of protection does an industrial design right offer?

In principle, the owner of a registered industrial design or of a design patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.

What kind of products can benefit from industrial design protection?

Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft items: from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles. Industrial designs may also be relevant to graphic symbols, graphical user interfaces (GUI), and logos.

Why are industrial designs important?

  • Good design increases sales of a product.
  • Good design uses less material and resources, which is better for the environment.
  • Good design makes the product safer, more enjoyable, and potentially even saves lives.
  • Good design makes a company long lasting.
  • Integrating design early in the product development cycle saves money.

Ways to do Industrial Design Search

Using Classifications – There are various ways to do an industrial design search, but the most effective and ideal way is to do an industrial design search based on classifications. The most common of the Industrial Design classification system is the Locarno classification system. Usually, all design applications from all the major patent offices of the world are classified under the Locarno Classification System.

The Locarno Classification, established by the Locarno Agreement (1968), is an international classification used for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs. The eleventh edition of the Classification entered force on January 1, 2017.

Limiting the search by Jurisdiction – Another important strategy to do an industrial design search is by limiting the search according to the jurisdiction. Since industrial designs are jurisdiction specific, a search conducted with this limiting factor could be immensely useful when it comes to narrowing the search.

Employing several analysis techniques – Another important way through which we can refine our industrial design search is by employing several analysis techniques for the interpretation of drawings pertaining to the design.

Understand Local Laws – Understanding local laws of the concerned jurisdiction is another important thing that has to be taken into consideration while doing a comprehensive industrial design search. WIPO Lex is one of the most important free tools that can help you understand local laws of various countries. WIPO Lex is a global database that provides free access to some national laws and treaties on intellectual property (IP) from some countries which are WIPO, WTO or UN Members.

Related Service: Design Patent Searches by The Patent Search Firm


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