Biomedical Engineering Reference
sector, compared to what you might do instead with inventions of an engineering
In this context, the protection of designs has always been held on the back-
ground. The case is very often considered “easier” than the utility patent and this
modus operandi and related procedures have been inherited.
The filing of an application for industrial design can protect the appearance of any
object produced on an industrial scale or handicraft item, such as the characteristics
of the lines, contours, colors, shape and surface texture or materials of the product
itself or its ornamentation. This definition also includes components that must be
assembled into a complex product, or a product formed from multiple components
which can be replaced, permitting disassembly and re-assembly of the product.
In particular, the industrial property law distinguishes industrial design from industrial
model. The definition of industrial design comprises decorations, shapes, lines, colors,
fonts and presentations, while protecting industrial models is reserved for creations of
three-dimensional character that give a distinctive look to a product; without the applica-
tion of said three-dimensional shape to the product, a further technical effect is involved.
18.104.22.168 Italian Procedure
A design is the exterior appearance of a product, or of a part thereof, as evidenced
by visible characteristics (shape, texture, contours, materials, ornaments), but pro-
tection is not granted to the components of a product visible in the course of its
Product means any industrial or handicraft item including packaging, graphic
symbols and typographic typefaces but excluding computer programs.
It also includes products that are composed of multiple components, which may
be disassembled and reassembled to form a complex product, or a product formed
from multiple components which can be replaced, permitting disassembly and re-
assembly of the product.
Protection is also possible for the components of a complex product as such,
provided that they remain visible during normal use of the complex product.
At present there is a gap regarding the components used for re-separation of
the complex product so as to restore its original appearance (e.g. car parts); the
difficulty of the subject has led the Community legislature to envisage that the
Member States are free to maintain or to deregulate the regime of applicable pro-
tection. Italy has decided to maintain the principle of non-enforcement of such
components (clause must match).
The law also distinguishes protection for:
(a) Industrial Design: Creating two-dimensional character that is attributed to the
product and gives it a unique look; this means that it can also include shapes,
lines, colors as a decoration.
(b) Industrial Model: Creating three-dimensional character that gives a distinctive
look to a product; without the application of said three-dimensional shape of
the product, the occurrence of a further technical effect is implied.