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Innovation by Design Forum

WIPO, Geneva - May 27, 2013 (16:00 - 18:00)

This Forum, to be held in the margins of the twenty-ninth session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), will bring together a diverse group of eminent speakers who have each made an important contribution to design – whether as designer, through promoting design or through teaching design. In the course of a moderated panel discussion, they will present their views on the importance of design in innovation, creativity, and stimulating economic development.

The Forum is open to representatives of WIPO member states and to observer organizations registered to attend the SCT. There will be no separate registration for the forum.  The forum will be followed immediately by the opening of an exhibition of Polish award winning design.

The Forum will take place at a time when WIPO member states are intensifying their work in the SCT on a new treaty on industrial design registration formalities. This work is intended to simplify worldwide design filings, thus making it easier for designers to obtain design protection in multiple jurisdictions.


Industrial design filings worldwide continue to grow and have more than doubled over the last ten years. Despite existing challenges in measuring the economic impact of design, evidence of the role of design as a source of innovation and economic growth is emerging PDF, The Rise of Design for Innovation and Intellectual Property, World Intellectual Property Indicators - 2012 Edition. As a creative activity, design offers a significant contribution to cultural, social and economic exchange. Involving both aesthetic and functional elements, design helps drive consumer choice, influences the user experience, and offers innovative solutions for the sustainability, usability and quality of a product.   Combined with recent and highly publicized disputes over product design, these developments are increasingly attracting the interests of policy makers in industrial design as a form of intellectual property and its role in innovation.

Design efforts as an investment in a firm’s intangible assets are well-established. Most notably, as compared to other types of intellectual property rights, resident applicants of design filings constitute the vast majority of total applications at the global level. In other words, in those offices in which the bulk of design activity occurs, the design system is used mostly by local applicants as opposed to international filers, underscoring the extent and scope of local creative and innovative output. Such industrial design activity is therefore a rich source of homegrown economic growth and development.


Panelists will reflect upon the existing design protection system and offer their perspectives on how it should evolve in order to better embrace the role of intellectual property as a driver of such innovation.


  • Dr. Darlie Koshy, Director General & CEO, Institute of Apparel Management & Apparel Training & Design Centre, Gurgaon, India  PDF, Bio of Dr. Koshy
  • Adrián Cohan, Cohan Design Group, Buenos Aires PDF, Bio of Adrián Cohan
  • Ravi Naidoo, Founder and Managing Director, Interactive Africa, Cape town; Founder, Design Indaba PDF, Bio of Ravi Naidoo


  • David Stone, Chair of the MARQUES Designs Team PDF, Bio of David Stone