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Intellectual Property Rights



Design is becoming increasingly important in the marketing of the product. It is partly the design aspect that makes it possible for a company to differentiate its products from those of the competition. Should the form and external configuration of the product play an important role in the identification or recognition of the brand, then it might be advantageous to protect.

Beside IPR tools (trademarks, patents, designs and model) and knowledge about the legal IPR framework system (databases, procedures and costs), the IP is strictly connected with Open Innovation, risk management, global trends, technologies and business processes.

What should you know

Regulation and Institutions
Associations and Federations
Research and Technology centres
  • INPI - Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial
  • ATP Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal
  • ANIVEC/PIV Associação Nacional das Indústrias de Vestuário e Confecção
  • ANIL Portuguese Wool Textile Association
  • CITEVE Centro Tecnológico das Indústrias Têxtil e do Vestuário de Portugal
  • ANCI National Association of Italian Footwear Manufacturers




The criteria used by companies to choose which designs to be registered are often "the design is innovative", "it is easy to copy"  and "it is different from the competition's design".

In any case, the factors that influence the decision to register are often a combination of external and internal factors.

  • Among the external factors we find, first of all, the costs of registration. In some sectors, the protection offered through registration is limited. The designs are slightly changed, and can then be registered as if they were novel. Textile is one of the sectors where this often happens. It is suggested that registration, therefore, does not offer enough protection. Sometimes, the application process is too long and does not give the company the possibility to register the design before bringing it on the market.
  • The internal factors considered to be important often have to do with the design and the product to which it is applied. If the product has a very short product life cycle, then the protection is often not applied for, since the application process is too long, and will then not offer effective protection. Fashion is for instance one of those sectors that do not always apply for registration for that reason.
  • Furthermore, the novelty of the design also plays a role in this decision making process. If it is considered to be sufficiently new and original, one thinks of protecting it. In addition, if the product design is easily copied, also it is more likely to be protected through official/legal means. In particular in those countries where copying a design is not costly, it will be thought of to protect it through design registration. Moreover, if a large investment has been made in the design of a certain product, it is also more likely to be protected, in order to be able to make exclusive use of the design.
  • Besides product and design aspects, the company culture or attitude is important. Most large companies are well prepared for these matters. However, in smaller companies sometimes the awareness does not exist, nor the means to protect the designs.





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