What Is the Difference Between a Patent and Industrial Design?

A patent and industrial design are two distinct areas of intellectual property rights. While both are aimed at protecting an invention or design, they differ in their scope and purpose.

A patent is a form of legal protection that grants the inventor exclusive rights over their invention. Patents must be applied for, and if granted, they generally last for 20 years. Patents can be granted to products, processes, or product improvements.

The scope of a patent is broad, covering the invention itself and any variations that may arise from it.

Industrial design on the other hand is a form of legal protection that covers the aesthetic aspects of an invention. This includes features such as shape and surface decoration. Industrial designs must also be applied for and if granted, can last for up to 25 years in some countries. Industrial design rights protect the appearance of an invention rather than its function.

In conclusion, patents and industrial designs are both forms of intellectual property rights aimed at protecting inventions or designs. The difference between them is that a patent protects the function of an invention while an industrial design protects its aesthetic aspects such as shape or surface decoration.