Anyone can apply for a patent; the right to a patent belongs to the inventor or the inventors' successor in title. If you make something while in employment, the patent may belong to your employer. An application may be filed by joint applicants.
To apply for a patent, you must:
request the grant of a patent
provide a description of the invention, including any drawings or blueprints, and what protections you want
an abstract that summarises the contents of the specification.
A "Design" is the appearance of a product due to lines, contours, colour, shape, texture or materials used in product itself or as its ornamentation. In order to be registrable A design must be new and have an individual character to be registered.
A registered design can be assigned, transferred, licensed or used by the owner. Any protections are territorial; a design that has been registered in Ireland is only valid in Ireland. Some parts of the "design" may be protected by copyright. If you do business in more than one EU country, you can protect your design with a Registered Community Design (RCD).
Filing a design application does not mean that it is, or will be registered.
Copyright owners can licence or reassign their rights. This can apply to all parts of the material or to just individual or incomplete rights. An author may allow one of their stories be reprinted but will retain all other rights.