Assistive Technology: The Importance of Designs

March 31, 2021

The 2021 edition of WIPO’s Technology Trends Report shows the importance of designs in the field of assistive technology, many inventions failing due to lack of appeal or poor functional design. In addition, once patented – products often require re-design in order to be mass-produced.

Research reveals that the top patent applicants in the field of assistive technology are using designs as part of their overall intellectual property (IP) strategy. The main contribution made by designs pertains to the distinctive aspects of products that in turn serve brand identity.

Interviews with patent applicants and design right holders confirm that – beyond the traditional use of designs – they are using design to increase the chances of their products reaching more end-users who would otherwise not have considered assistive products appealing or interesting.

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WIPO's Hague System provides a unique international mechanism for securing and managing design rights simultaneously in more than 90 countries through one application, in one language with one set of fees.