Research Handbook on Design Law
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Research Handbook on Design Law

Edited by Henning Hartwig

Written by expert scholars and practitioners, this unique Research Handbook presents the state of the art in research on, and the practice of, international design law. Combining cutting-edge research with a practical approach, it examines key trends and covers key cases, regional and national laws, as well as concepts of international design protection. In particular, the U.S. framework is compared with the regime of the EU, and issues relating to the Hague Agreement are also covered.
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Chapter 11: Design Protection for Graphical User Interfaces

Tracy-Gene G. Durkin


Over the past, new technologies have pushed the prominence of design beyond physical products. Software has come to have an important aesthetic component, namely its graphical user interface (“GUI”), referring to visual elements and indicators such as icons, menus, and animations. As the internet of things continues to evolve, our relationship with GUI will naturally continue to increase. Likewise, laws relating to the protection of GUI are still developing across the world, and variations in national laws lead to a number of jurisdiction-specific requirements that an applicant must satisfy in order to secure protection. While movements are underway to possibly harmonise application processes and the scope of rights, practitioners must continue to familiarise themselves with the particular requirements of the countries in which they wish to secure protection. In this chapter, the author provides a status report with a focus on the United States, China, Japan, and Australia.

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