Chapter 6: Design and Design Frameworks: Investment in KBC and economic performance

This chapter addresses the nature and the economic impact of design by looking at design-related intellectual property and how businesses protect their knowledge based capital. The chapter reviews the nature and various definitions of design and how design-related IP, specifically registered designs, relates to other formal IP mechanisms such as patents, trademarks, and copyright. It looks at the primary areas of design activity in a subset of OECD countries and investigates the similarities and differences of the constituent design IP regimes as well as the various treaties governing international design IP regulation. The review continues with an examination of how design-related IP functions in comparison to and in conjunction with other formal and informal IP protection mechanisms and what factors motivate firms to choose and appropriate combinations of protection mechanisms. By examining historical patterns of design registrations in a variety of ways, this chapter identifies trends, at the national level, of how firms perceive the importance of design-related IP. Analysis of national origins of registrations in both the European Community and the United States provides an indicator of the activity of those countries’ businesses relative to their proximities to the markets. It explores the existence of possible alternative indicators for design activity and of industry-specific variations across the sample set. The chapter concludes with a review of input and output measures as stated in the limited set of studies that have endeavoured to establish or quantify the value and/or benefit of design and design-related IP. The studies, while clearly suggesting that design does have economic benefits, both at the firm and overall economic levels, largely use qualitative or subjective indicators because the data necessary for large-scale econometric analysis are generally not available. This chapter is intended to be exploratory rather than comprehensive or conclusive. It should be considered as an initial step towards the possibility of a broader and deeper analysis of design-related issues.

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Enquiries into Intellectual Property's Economic Impact, 323-371
Paris, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

 Record created 2015-11-17, last modified 2019-12-05

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