What is the difference between a distinguishing guise and an industrial design?
An industrial design protects the visual features of a product, including the product's shape and configuration. To be registered, the design must be original, i.e. not already registered and not published more than 1 year prior to filing.
A distinguishing guise is a type of trade-mark that specifically protects the shape of wares or their containers, or the wrapping/packaging of wares. To be registered, this guise must have become known through use over a certain period of time in the marketplace such that when seen by a consumer, it is recognized as the owner's "brand". Note that lengthy use/publication in the marketplace is not permissible for industrial design registration.
It is important to note that applying for a registration as a distinguishing guise can be the logical next step in terms of IP protection for a product after industrial design registration B if the shaping/packaging acquires distinctiveness over time in the marketplace. This can extend protection for the product from the initial design registration (max. of 10 years) to a further 15 years as a distinguishing guise, which is renewable indefinitely. A famous example is the Coca-Cola bottle, which was initially registered as an industrial design and then was subsequently registered as a distinguishing guise B because it became distinctive in the minds of consumers after several years of use.