From 2007 to 2011, the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property in Portugal) has received 1692 design patents for all 32 Locarno classes. However, only 19 classes were requested consistently through these five years.
From all the design patents requested, in the figure, there are three that stand out over these five years: furniture (class no. 6), Textiles and shoes (class no.2) and graphic design (class no.32).
It’s interesting to observe that the main design patents requested are related to the more traditional sectors in the Portuguese economy (with the exception of graphic design), commonly mistaken with the obsolete side of Portugal.
Design innovation often appears in the traditional, industrial sector as a way of reinventing a product. Companies and entrepreneurs use design innovation as the more direct way to create a “high-value” product from a “low-tech” sector. It is considered an incremental innovation and therefore a lesser innovation by policy makers. Nonetheless it is proved (Talke et al; Tether et al) that the incremental is more profitable than the revolutionary innovation on the medium-long term with the chances of a specific product decoming a “must have icon” for the company.