Design protection for graphical user interfaces (GUIs)

  • 20 April 2018

This timely ICC report gives guidance to businesses and policy makers on design protection for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), as GUIs and other forms of digital design become increasingly important in the digital economy.

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) play an important role in the digital world as they allow users to interact with electronic devices in many different sectors (such as smartphones, home appliances, medical devices, vehicles) through design elements such as icons and menus. Their increasing importance and value as strategic assets for companies, and the relevance of design rights for protecting the visual appearance of GUIs, is reflected by the strong growth in GUI design applications worldwide in recent years.

Both a practical tool for business and a source of policy recommendations, the ICC report helps businesses to identify issues to consider when developing a GUI design filing strategy, and suggests issues which policy makers should address to make design protection for GUIs more effective and efficient. Drawing from the contributions of experts from different regions, the report reviews the requirements and practices in 24 jurisdictions, with information on both prosecution and enforcement aspects of GUI designs.

Improving procedures and requirements for design protection for GUIs will have a positive effect on this increasingly important field of design and also on the protection of future generations of digital designs.

This report is also available in:

Chinese: 图形用户界面的外观设计保护