Re: Please, I don't want your cool hack
"The problem is so engrained that the European authority for design registration officially considers "design" to be a purely aesthetic phenomenon"
No it does not, and for a chartered engineer you display astonishing ignorance.
A registered design is a purely aesthetic matter. That is true. It is to prevent manufacturers being able to copyright irrelevant features of a product that would prevent third party manufacturers offering spares. If you wish to protect an engineering function you need a patent. If you wish to protect your brand, you need a trademark.
There are important free market and competition ideas behind this tripartite system. Important to it is the idea that an invention only deserves protection if it is novel and not something that anybody who knows what they are doing would come up with faced with the same issue.
That is why one precise implementation of rounded corners as an aesthetic element is all Apple could register in Europe; because any designer would come up with the idea of having rounded corners on a portable consumer product, such as suitcases, so it does not deserve protection per se.