TECHNOLOGY AND FORM — DESIGN RIGHTS VERSUS PATENTS

DS82: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE15), Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, Loughborough, UK, 03-04.09.2015

Year: 2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Hillner, Matthias
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Royal College of Art, London, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Section: Innovation
Page(s): 456-460
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9

Abstract

Design innovations marketed by start-up companies are currently mostly protected through patents,
which are tailored towards protecting scientific and measurable findings, and not suitable for
harnessing product languages. Start-ups struggle with the costs needed for filing and protecting
patents. This paper relies on a comprehensive literature review and on interviews with key industry
representatives and builds on a case study. The alleged infringement of the design rights related to the
Trunki travel case will help assess the future impact of the current changes in the legislation.
This paper examines the differences and the potential connection points between patents and
registered design rights. How do the benefits and disadvantages of patents compare to those of design
registrations? How exactly can one extract value from both forms of intellectual property rights (IPR),
and how can they be combined most effectively? The case studies will highlight other criteria for
success such as access to complementary assets as defined by David Teece, and collaborative
arrangements. Thus it will assess the future relevance of IPR within the wider context of innovation
management and start-up business development.

Keywords: Innovation, management, intellectual property, start-up, business strategy, product language

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