In the intellectual property world, an industrial design relates the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of a product. It may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colours. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, these designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft items from packages and containers to furnishing and household goods, from lighting equipment to jewelry, and from electronic devices to textiles.
Whereas patents for example, focus on protection of the technical workings of a product, industrial design protection concerns the appearance and physical design of the product.
Considerations are ongoing to implement a separate registration system specifically for industrial designs. However, there may still be scope to have an industrial design protected under copyright as an artistic work. The provisions relating to copyright protection would then apply.