An industrial design means the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process or means, being features in which the finished article appeal to and are judged by the eye. In simpler terms, an industrial design furnishes an object to be more appealing, thus increasing the object’s commercial value.
The design may be a three-dimensional based on the shape or surface of the object, or two-dimensional based on the object’s patterns. Novelty, originality and visual appeal are fundamental if an industrial design is to be protected. Its aesthetic features should not be imposed by the technical functions of the product.
On the point of novelty, Malaysian industrial design law requires that the design must not have been disclosed to the public anywhere in Malaysia or elsewhere in the world before the priority date or the date of application for registration of the design. However, this regulation may vary according to countries. An industrial design that are contrary to public order or morality shall not be registrable. In addition, the following features are generally excluded from industrial design registration:-
Method or principle of construction
Features of shape or configuration that depend on the appearance of another article, of which the first article is intended by the designer to form and integral part.
An industrial design is given protection usually from 5 years to 25 years. The length of protection varies according to countries.