Design Education and the New Culture of Design Centric Intellectual Property


Industrial design, IP trends, copyright, design patent, utility patent, trademark, sponsored projects, live projects


This paper addresses the relevance of integrating intellectual property (IP) rights studies within contemporary industrial design studio courses. As recently as 2014, an article on design and IP argues that “recent legal and cultural evolutions within the United States Intellectual Property system”… “do not favour student inventors and hinder their ability to protect their creative work” and students would be better served using their resources on more fruitful pursuits. However, IP culture surrounding Design Patents/Design Rights has substantially changed in the last decade and it is time for this position to be readdressed. This paper reviews the reframing of Brigham Young University’s third-year industrial design studio course to include training on IP. It appraises the current state of IP training in design schools and how design related IP has markedly shifted in recent years. It outlines basic IP exercises and introduces case studies for the four the primary types of IP: Copyrights, Trademarks, Design and Utility Patents. Students are exposed to two opposing mindsets regarding IP: the traditional position that views IP as a defensive tool to build a fence around an individual’s rights; and more importantly, how to use IP as a collaborative bridge between other market players enabling meaningful market offerings

Original Publication Citation

Howell, B., & Briscoe, T. (2017). Design Education and The New Culture of Design Centric Intellectual Property. Conference proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education; Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future (E&PDE17), Oslo, Norway, September 7-8

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL






Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor