The main purpose of design law is to protect the design element of industrial production and to promote innovative activity in the field of industries. In 1842, George Bruce was awarded the first design patent for fonts.
What is a design under designs law?
The appearance of a product, the shape, color, texture, materials used and ornamentation. To qualify as a new design, the impression should be different from any existing design.
The creator of the design owns any rights in it, the exception being where the work was commissioned or created during the course of employment, where the rights belong to the employer or the party who commissioned the work.
Unregistered design rights are automatic and are treated
in the similar manner as copyright.
Unregistered design rights protect the shape or configuration of a marketable product. Unregistered design rights prevent unauthorised copying of an original design. Design rights can be traded in a similar manner to copyright.
The copyright protects documents detailing the design as well as any artistic or literary work incorporated within the finished product and the design right focuses more on the shape, construction and configuration of a product.
Irish Copyright and Design Law (Ring-bound) by Robert Clark
Design Law in Europe: An Analysis of the Protection of Artistic, Industrial, and Functional Designs Under Copyright, Design, Unfair Competit by Uma Suthersanen
The Geneva Act (1999) Of The Hague Agreement Concerning The International Registration Of Industrial Designs: Drafting History and Analysis Kluwer Law International by William T., III Fryer
Copyright and designs law: Report of the Committee to Consider the Law on Copyright and Designs - Great Britain
Copyright and Designs Law:A Question of Balance by Peter Groves.