This is a respond to a previously asked question about the A' Design Award and Competition. The full list of frequently asked questions can be accessed here.
#134: I am interested in joining the Design competition, but I do not have the copyrights or patents regarding my idea/design. I would like to know if I am eligible without them. If I apply without a patent, what could ensure that my idea/design is secure, how can I protect my design/idea.
You can apply without patents or copyrights to any of the categories. To protect your Idea's globally, the best practice would be to apply for a world-wide patent, which is really expensive but could be equally useful. We usually let winners know the status of their applications in advance so that you could start application for such a patent in advance. In addition, we give a distinct certificate for each application which could potentially be used to protect yourself from possible legal cases, the certificate includes your design details, the submission date and your identity information and could be legally helpful but is not a guaranteed protection; in many countries, patents will be given priority. To underline it once more, having a patent for your idea (either globally or country based) is the right thing to do and we strongly suggest you to do so if you want to protect your design or ideas. By joining the competition and nominating your design, you would test your idea in advance before making such investment.
Keywords: patents, copyrights, design patents, design copyrights, protecting designs, securing design rights, securing production rights, eligibility
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