CAPRI handles the procedures for the application, registration, granting and renewal of design patents at the different Patents Offices:
• Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle
(French Patent Office) in Paris (INPI)
In the case of the design of industrial products, CAPRI adopts an American-style approach, where the designs are covered by patent rights. Therefore, designs are mainly managed by Patent Attorneys. In the USA, the design is granted as a design patent.
The packaging industry develops products that are inventions protectable by utility patents, and that also present designs protectable by design patents. Sometimes the aspects are closely linked, but generally they are complementary. A cream dispenser button, for example, may be equipped with a valve. This valve can be protected by utility patents for its technical and functional characteristics, and design patents can protect its external shapes and appearances.