The design of a product, resulting from its characteristic shape and appearance, is a significant competitive factor in many industries. Products in many business sectors are nowadays often technically so similar that their individual design has become the best way for a product to gain a distinctive appearance. Design registration is essential in such cases, as it gives the registration holder an exclusive right to use the design in commerce and to prohibit unauthorized use intervene in case of an infringement.
The protected design may be a product or part thereof, or its decoration, packaging, graphical element, or merely some other product detail. A registered design may also protect various graphical elements such as logos, labels, websites, graphical user interfaces (GUI) and icons. Copyright or even trademark registrations may also be used to reinforce the protection of such designs in some countries.