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WIPO Publishes Guide on Industrial Designs for Business

Geneva, February 11, 2004
Press Updates UPD/2004/219

Entrepreneurs, designers and small and medium-sized businesses can now consult a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publication that explains, using concrete examples, how industrial designs can be used to further strategic business goals. The guide, entitled "Looking Good: An Introduction to Industrial Designs for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises"seeks to promote better understanding of how industrial designs can help companies differentiate and customize products for specific market segments, create a new niche market and strengthen their brand image. This guide is the second in a series of new WIPO guides on the theme of "Intellectual Property for Business".

Enterprises often devote a significant amount of time and resources to enhancing the design appeal of their products. An industrial design, which relates to the aesthetic or outward appearance of a good, adds value to a product by making it more attractive and appealing to customers. By protecting an industrial design through its registration at a national or regional intellectual property office, the owner obtains the right to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation by others. This makes business sense as it improves competitiveness, adds to a company's prestige and often brings in additional revenue through, for example, increased profits and licensing contracts. Given the importance of designs as a selling point for many products, the protection of industrial designs is a key element of the business strategy of many companies.

"Looking Good: An Introduction to Industrial Designs for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" is currently available in English and can be downloaded as a PDF document from WIPO's SME website or may be obtained in hard copy by writing to publications.mail@wipo.int. Additional language versions are foreseen in the near future.

The first guide in the series, entitled, "Making a Mark: An Introduction to Trademarks for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises", is also currently available in English, French and Spanish and will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. Similar guides on patents, copyright, trade secrets, domain names, licensing and the valuation of intellectual property assets, are foreseen for publication in the course of the year.

To further enhance the usefulness of these guides, WIPO will be partnering with national institutions to adapt them to the specific law, practice, and business environments of individual countries.

For more information on IP for SMEs visit https://www.wipo.int/sme and subscribe to the free monthly electronic newsletter of the SMEs Division or contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO on +41 22 338 8161 or 338 95 47; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.