What Cannot Be Protected by Industrial Design Rights Explain With Examples?

Industrial design rights are a form of intellectual property protection that gives the owner exclusive rights over the appearance of an article. This includes its shape, lines, contours, colors and textures.

It is important to note that industrial design rights do not protect the functionality of a product or its components; they only protect the appearance. The purpose of industrial design rights is to prevent competitors from copying or imitating a product’s appearance and thus depriving the original owner of market share.

Industrial design rights do not cover all aspects of a product’s appearance. For example, features which are essential for the operation or purpose of a product cannot be protected by industrial design rights.

This includes features like handles on tools or knobs on appliances which are necessary for their operation. Similarly, functional shapes such as those found in some kitchen tools or sporting equipment can’t be protected either.

Industrial design rights also don’t extend to features which are common in related products. For example, a specific type of car wheel rim may not be protected because it is common in other cars as well. Additionally, industrial designs which lack originality cannot be protected either; if two products have too similar designs then industrial design protection won’t apply.

Lastly, industrial design rights cannot be extended to products with an indefinite shape or size; this includes things like abstract works of art and certain types of jewelry.


In conclusion, industrial design rights cannot protect features which are essential for operation or purpose, features which are common in related products, lack originality and have an indefinite shape or size.