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Protecting creative vehicle designs

Vehicle manufacturers frequently create new designs that stand out. This can be the design of the overall vehicle, the design of external components such as the front grille, or the design of internal components of the vehicle, such as the dashboard, the seats, the centre console or even the smaller details such as switch gear. Sometimes, these designs create a whole new direction for vehicle design. This occured in the case of the classic VW Campervan, the design of which created a new form factor for vehicles. 

One thing that these design details all have in common is the possibility of IP protection, be that by way of patent applications for their functionality, design registrations for their appearance, or even trademark registrations if the design can distinguish the product from those of other manufacturers. In the case of the VW Campervan, VW secured such 3D trademark protection - EUTM Registration No. 10511591 for example. 

These various forms of IP protection can apply to all types of vehicle, be they cars, trucks, vans, motorbikes, trains or buses, or even bicycles, and similarly for for the various components thereof. 

The classic VW Campervan is an iconic design from the history books, but they recently revitalised that form factor with the ID Buzz. A beautiful design (in my eyes at least), but its price takes it into a market bracket not suited for an occasional camper such as myself. However, there are others working on the form factor, and one that caught my eye recently is the XBus Camper. Although having a similar overall shape, with the blunt front and back, and the raising roof, there are many quirks about this new vehicle's design versus the ID Buzz and Campervan, which I would hope have been protected, just as VW did for their original design. 

I wish both new products every success in the complicated vehicle marketplace, but wonder now whether perhaps one day I will venture into this market, now that more affordable options are appearing alongside the classics!

Emotion is what sells cars and the XBus has pizzazz, a certain je ne sais quoi that is positively endearing.

Tags

transport, designs, patents, trademarks
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