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What are the differences between the protection of an invention and anindustrial design?




A patent can be granted for a product, process, or industrial design. A product patent provides protection against the unauthorized production, use, marketing, sale, and import of patent-protected goods. In contrast, a process patent provides protection against the unauthorized use of the process, or use, marketing, sale, or import of products obtained directly through that process. An industrial design (or design patent), however, protects the patentee from the unauthorized production, sale, or import of products that copy the design.


The scope of protection for a product or process patent is broader than that of an industrial design. While infringement of a product or process patent occurs through unauthorized use or sale of the patent-protected product or process, simply using goods that carry a protected design is not considered an infringement of the design patent. This is because the subject matter protected by the two types of patents differs. An industrial design patent only protects the shape, pattern, and colour of a product, excluding its functions and the underlying technical idea, thus the use of such goods falls outside the scope of protection for a design patent.

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