Beautiful Things Make Money

December 5, 2017

For most of the twentieth century design protection was something of a backwater when compared to utility patents, trademarks and copyrights with many companies perceiving little value in this form of intellectual property (IP) coverage. However, that has changed significantly in recent years, with design application filings increasing year over year in many jurisdictions around the world.

A key moment in the history of design applications was the Apple v Samsung settlement where Apple was awarded over $1 billion. Apple’s win was a wake-up call which resonated beyond Samsung, as it demonstrated to many observers and producers the potential value of design protection.  

In this video, CIGI Senior Fellow Margo Bagley speaks about the importance of design rights in today’s IP world as well as the implications for Indigenous peoples. Designs that are ethnically and culturally distinctive make money, and it often involves the exploitation of Indigenous people and their creations.

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