Whereas a patent confers generally wide protection for an invention, the protection afforded by a registered design is limited to the specific appearance of the article so registered.
This protection does not extend to the underlying principle or the functional purpose of the article.
However, if design protection in several foreign countries is contemplated, it may be prudent to instruct us to conduct an international design search prior to carrying out a programme of design applications involving large expenses.
This precaution is also recommended before investing heavily in somebody else's design, before embarking upon expensive litigation against an alleged infringer, or before commercializing a design that may not be new or original.
Whereas a patent is primarily intended to cover the conceptual features of an invention underlying potentially a range of embodiments, a design registration covers the form and outer appearance of an article.
In certain cases, it is advisable to have parallel design and patent protection for an article.
Assignments were very common on milk bottle patents.
Many drug companies and university researchers seek patent protection to recover research and development costs for patents related to specific genes and proteins, laboratory techniques and drugs.
In order for patents to be issued by a granting agency such as a Patent Office they need to be new, useful and not obvious to others working in the same field.
Often the inventor was an employee of the glass bottle manufacturer that he assigned the patent to.
Typically manufacturers used the patent date or patent number as a selling feature.