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Industrial Design rights are granted to restrict the use of designs by parties not being authorized by the rightsholder to do so. But can applicants for such rights simply submit a simple drawing of their products? Or is a more detailed, technical scheme required? And to which extent does the registration of a design protect features not clearly shown in the design plans?

What is Industrial Design?

First of all; surprisingly enough, complicated schedules full of calculations will not be necessary for you in order to have an Industrial Design registered on your behalf. This is mainly because such technological set-outs would not be protected through Industrial Design rights anyways. In order to understand this one must first know what Indonesian law defines as an Industrial Design. Article 1 of Law 31/2000 on Industrial Designs defines an Industrial Design as a design containing visual elements, which illustrate the aesthetic features of an object and which can be used to create this product. This implies the registered Industrial Design can only protect the aesthetic characteristics of the plan in question and excludes any functional or technological elements from such protection. Parties who wish to have such technological elements legally protected as well better seek for patent registration, though this is only possible for designs which can be truly considered a ‘new invention’.

Requirements for samples filed with an application

With this distinction being explained, the question remains how detailed sketches of the design must be and which elements shown in those sketches can actually enjoy legal protection. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Industrial Design rights only grant their holder the exclusive right over the aesthetic features of his design. Therefore, any technical aspects of the object, insofar those can be recognized from the drawings or photographs, can best be left out in the samples unless their visibility is a crucial part of the object’s appearance. Another thing best left out are numbers, letters and other characters, as such wording is also not protected by Industrial Design rights. Again, the only good reason for showing numbers and letters is for their aesthetic purposes, meaning showing them is only necessary if they form an important element of the object’s looks. Any wording or numerals that describe the object’s function, size or other features will be ignored and must be left out of the sample images.

An important aspect of the Industrial Design plans is that they need to show every side of the object it represents. Therefore, images of its top, bottom, front, back, left and right sides are all required. Even if two or more sides of the object are basically the same, it is still recommended to include drawings of all of these sides. Brief descriptions referring to which side of the object is shown in which image – e.g. ‘right side’ or ‘front side’ – are allowed. Note also that the sample of the Industrial Design does not necessarily have to be a drawing. Article 11 of Law 31/2001 states that pictures could serve as a sample of the Industrial Design as well. Besides 2-dimensional representations, the physical object itself could also be the required sample.

Industrial Design