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Whereas a patent confers generally wide protection for an invention, the protection afforded by a registered design is limited to the specific appearance of the article so registered.
This protection does not extend to the underlying principle or the functional purpose of the article.
A patent is protection granted by a national government for an invention.
This protection excludes others from making, using or selling an invention for a period of up to 20 years.
The reason here for is that the costs of a search may outweigh the cost of filing a design application in a single country, especially one as relatively inexpensive to file in such as South Africa.
Furthermore, certain countries (such as South Africa) do not conduct an examination on the subject matter of a design application and will register a design as long as all the necessary paperwork has been submitted (however, the validity of such design can be attacked at any time by others).
Knowing these assignments gives an idea which milk bottle manufacturers controlled which patents.Often the inventor was an employee of the glass bottle manufacturer that he assigned the patent to.Typically manufacturers used the patent date or patent number as a selling feature.However, if design protection in several foreign countries is contemplated, it may be prudent to instruct us to conduct an international design search prior to carrying out a programme of design applications involving large expenses.This precaution is also recommended before investing heavily in somebody else's design, before embarking upon expensive litigation against an alleged infringer, or before commercializing a design that may not be new or original.