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Why is design protection important for consumers?

Sep 27, 2023

Table of contents
    Paula de Andrés Gómez

    Paula is an IP expert focused on protecting the results of creative work. With over a decade of experience related to design rights, she is a seasoned and versatile professional who specializes in design and brand protection. Paula understands the business objectives of industrial design and is tuned in to the designer’s standpoint. She is the head of our office in Alicante, Spain, and she has more than 20 years of experience in the field of IP and copyright. Paula is also qualified to represent our clients before the EUIPO.

    Many people wonder why a company should protect the design of its products with design protection. Design protection is an essential part of building and maintaining a company's brand, it provides a clear competitive advantage. Design protection is a legal concept that may seem distant and complex to consumers. However, it has a major impact on the products we can buy, how they look and how they work, and the freedom of choice we have. This blog looks at why design protection is important for consumers.

    1. Preserving the uniqueness of the product

    Consumers expect quality and uniqueness. By protecting their products with design rights, companies can tackle counterfeiting and prevent the proliferation of copycat products on the market. Design protection helps to combat fakes and the black economy. Consumers can continue to enjoy the quality and design of the original product. 

    2. Ensuring quality

    A product must meet certain quality and safety standards, which is particularly important for consumers. When a company protects its designs, it usually shows its commitment to product quality and safety. This gives consumers confidence in the brand and the products it offers and reduces the risk of buying poor quality or dangerous products on the market.

    3. Promoting innovation

    Design protection gives companies the right to exclusive use of their own designs. This encourages companies to invest more in research and development and to innovate new products and designs. This leads to a wider and more diverse range of products for consumers. New and better products will emerge that better meet the needs of consumers.

    4. Stability and continuity

    Consumers value long-term relationships with reliable companies. When a company protects its design with a design right, it sends a signal of its commitment to provide quality products in the long term. This is particularly important for consumers who want to ensure that the company they buy from remains stable and that good products will continue to be available in the future.

    5. Legal protection and access to compensation

    As my colleague Markku Szymczak writes in his blog post (in Finnish) "Design protection by design right", design protection has a preventive effect against copying and imitation. A third party will be more careful in deciding whether to copy a protected design instead of an unprotected one. Once your design is protected, you can deal with the actions of the opposite party more clearly by means of injunctions or warning letters. Other measures, such as customs control, precautionary measures, etc., are also available, not to mention the possibility of claiming compensation for damages. Such legal action protects not only the interests of the company but also those of consumers, by helping to maintain a fair and safe competitive environment. 

    The importance of design protection for the consumer is relevant. It provides the opportunity to bring unique, advanced, and safe products to the market, thus enriching the consumer's shopping experience and improving the overall quality of products on the market.

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