Registered designs protect the appearance of an article. Filing an application is easy, and is fairly quick and inexpensive. But, to ensure you get the protection you want, there are many factors to consider when preparing design drawings. Below are a few practical pointers for preparing a design application…

Drawings of what?: Products and articles are widely registrable. Some countries also permit registration of logos, stylised words, computer icons, GUIs, cartoon characters and many other things.

Type of drawings: Black and white line drawings typically give greater protection. Filing CAD drawings, photos, contrast/colour images is often easier but may only give more limited protection.

Level of detail: Plain drawings typically only cover the shape of the article. Is any detail/ornamentation important/essential? Sometimes it should be included; other times it’s better not to.

Number of views: Some countries require the article to be shown from all directions, and some also require a perspective view. Others don’t need them all and including e.g. underneath/back views could be limiting. So choose what to file depending on where you’re filing.

Format of drawings: Images will need to be clear and high-resolution, with a plain white background or easily distinguishable from background features. The images should be free from text, labels and markings that aren’t part of the design. Enlarged, exploded or cross-sectional views can sometimes be used. Separation lines can be used to show an article of any/indefinite length.

Transformation: Articles that can move between different positions can be depicted in those different positions. Different frames of an animated image sequence can also be registered in some countries.

Dotted lines: Some countries allow a part of a design to be registered. The rest of the article can be shown in dotted lines. Dotted lines (and a variety of other methods) can also be used to “disclaim” certain features from design protection, and depict background/context.

Local requirements: Each country has its own law and practice. There will be restrictions in the page/file size for filing the drawings. Some will require articles to be shaded; others don’t permit shading. Some other factors are discussed above. This can make it tricky to prepare a single set of drawings for filing in multiple countries or in an (international (Hague) application).