Thursday, May 12, 2011

Patent for Industrial Designs

13 May 2011

The Living Letter by Alvin J. Buenaventura of FILCOLS
Translated from Filipino by Beverly W. Siy

Creations of the human mind are called Intellectual Property or IP. There are two kinds of IP: the copyright and the industrial property. Under the industrial property is a branch called patent. It is the right and the protection given by the government to inventors and their inventions.

Industrial designs are also given patent. What is an industrial design? It is the combination of certain colors, shapes, textures and others that serve as a pattern in an industrial product or a handicraft. This is what makes a product look cool.

Most of the time, it’s the unique form/appearance of a product that entices the consumer to buy the product. It is usually the reason why products become a hit.

Examples of industrial designs are: shape of the Coke bottle; designs of popular gadgets like iPod, iPhone, and iPad; designs of watches like Swatch and TechnoMarine; designs of rubber shoes like Nike, Adidas, Bata, World Balance, Advan, and more.

The most popular beetle-shape model of Volkswagen car is an example of product that became very successful because of its appearance. It is considered an icon in the world of design.

It was in 1933 when Adolf Hitler asked Ferdinand Porsche to manufacture a car for the common people. Porsche owns a car manufacturing company in Germany. It was Hitler’s dream for every German to have his/her own car. One of Hitler’s requirements regarding the design of the car was enough space for a family of five. The father and the mother must have seats in front while three children sit comfortably at the back. Hitler also insisted that the car must be affordable for the common German citizen.

Porsche immediately talked to his chief designer, Erwin Komenda, about it. And Komenda was able to produce a design for the car of the Germany’s common folks. Volkswagen was born. It came from the German words volks which means common people and wagen which means wagon or vehicle/carrier. So, the rumors that it was Hitler who designed the popular beetle-shaped car is so not true.

A total of 21 million units of Volkswagen were produced and sold. A lot of families were able to take advantage of the Volkswagen’s price and availability. The industry that Volkswagen created produced jobs and livelihood for the factory workers, suppliers, car dealers and other allied businesses that grew in the context of the Volkswagen success. This industry also stirred trading with other countries for the cars’ engine, lighting needs, cables, mirrors, car seats, radiators, disc brakes, stick shifts, steering wheels, wheels and other components to manufacture or repair the Volkswagen. People who were involved in the paint and oil/fuel industries benefitted from this industry as well.

All these just from one’s creativity. From one’s design. An intellectual property.

Creations of human mind or IP can uplift people’s lives. They can make a country flourish as well.

The beetle-shape design of a car also generates a lot of important memories for many people. It wasn’t just a car. It was a memento of an era. Volkswagen inspired the creation of numerous books, movies and songs. IP gives birth to more IPs.

One of the inventions that have a big time effect on us was the computer. In the next issue, the patent for the layout design of integrated circuits found in computers will be discussed. So don’t miss it!

Authors, publishers or heirs of copyright owners are invited to join FILCOLS. We will help you protect your copyright over your works. To join, one only needs to have published works, or one needs to be the heirs of an author or has the right to manage the rights of an author. Membership is free. If you have queries, email us at

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