Options and tactics to protect the design of a product


The company I work for has designed a product over 2 years that uses several electronic components including integrated circuit chips. Apart from patents what other options and tactics are there to protect the product from being copied?

One tactic I thought of is to ask the chip manufacturing company to use custom chip numbers for the chips that we use in the product. This would make it harder and more time consuming to copy the product. Is this tactic common in industry? If so are there any examples of companies doing this?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve worked with clients that have different components made in separate factories and a third one do the final assembly. This is because the most likely person to create copies is your own manufacturer. Other options include:

  • Trade mark protection of the brand so that stopping counterfeits is easier.

  • Design registration of the key parts to protect the physical design.

  • Aggressive use of consumer protection and fraud laws to attack copies.

  • Creating product options at all the different price points so there is no market gap for a competitor to copy.


I am guessing you are making this in China and so you are looking for ways to protect yourself from your own vendor?

I will wait for your reply before adding any tactics.