Isn’t design considered a form of intellectual property?

Isn’t the design considered a form of intellectual property that is of some value? The company is going to profit from your work for many years to come.
I assumed the reason some companies pay royalties was because they prefer to pay royalties, instead of high up front fees.
Simple hourly rate dos not seem to take into account the log term benefits of the work.
I know some people do not consider design an intellectual property, you could consider it an industrial design right instead.

As far as I understand it, you only have IP rights (in other words, own the rights to your design) while working for a company, if you have negotiated them contractually before the work was handed over. In most cases, however, the company you are working for maintains all rights to the work you produce for them as a designer, again, unless there is some other agreement in place. Now, if you are speaking of, let’s say, a rendering you did, you would own the copyright to that image, but not the design depicted in the image. IP rights of a design are only enforceable by law if you have a design patent and even that only gives you the right to sue someone who copies your design EXACTLY. I suggest if you are worried about someone profiting off of your design and not the images you produce that you work it out contractually, get a design patent, or not work for that company. I am not a lawyer, so don’t take my advice as such, this is just what I understand from my experience. I hope that helps.

Yes, design is certainly intellectual property but because design patents are so easy to circumvent, few are willing to pay royalties on them. They’re more willing to pay for utility patents, that is, if it is so broad and solid that they can’t or is cheaper to invest in the R+D to make their product around it.

Design certainly has a huge impact. For consumers of furniture, fashion, cars, design, from a “looks” standpoint certainly plays an enormous role in the buying decision.

I think designers should do hybrid deals with clients so we get a bit upfront and have a stake in the value our innovations bring to the table. It’s just hard to quantify beforehand and compel clients to do so. If we could be somewhat like the music industry, we can get some residual upside long term instead of the one time fee model most of us are stuck in.

I agree with you mpdesigner, that we, as designers, should definitely be getting a piece of the pie. The phrase “Intellectual Property” gets thrown around a great deal and I think its often misunderstood. I took one of my designs to an attorney to see about my “IP rights” for the design because I was interested in marketing it and didn’t want to get ripped off. I was informed that unless I had some way of legally enforcing protection on my design (trademark, patent, etc.) I had no way to protect myself if my idea was stolen. Now, if you get hired by a company to develop a product for them and negotiate royalties or a buy out as part of your fee, thats different. You are simply negotiating payment, not IP rights. Your name should go on the patent as an inventor if you thought up the idea and it wasn’t provided by the client. But, be careful about signing away those rights, you might regret it. It’s all about how you want to get paid, now or, if the product takes off, later.

Mpdesigner is exactly right in the fact that if you don’t look out for your own rights, no one else will.

If some company hires you to design something for them to mass produce and sell to the public.
Is there an expectation to ad payment for the rights of the intellectual property in addition to the design fee?
I want to know whether or not it is considered in standard negotiations. Has anyone had any experience dealing with prospective clients,Possibly a big international company, were they were surprised or did they consider it standard.