Designs are defined as “the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation”. Designs can be protected if they are novel and have an individual character. In the European Union and Germany, registered designs are available. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market registers Community designs which are valid in all 28 member states of the EU thus covering one of the most significant markets in the world. German designs cover Germany which is the largest economy in Europe. The registration is conducted without substantive examination. The maximum term is 25 years. For design applications, a drawing or photography of the object for which protection is sought is required. The detailed representation of the object determines the protective scope of the registered design and is therefore crucial. In addition, unregistered designs (unregistered Community design) are available in the European Union. The unregistered Community design lasts for three years.
We advise and represent clients in all matters related to European and German designs including filing, prosecution, administration, and the payment of the maintenance fees. Apart from our qualifications and expertise which might convince you to entrust us with your European design, there are a number of further good reasons to choose us as your IP law firm as we are based in Germany. The Germany courts deal with an estimated two thirds of all IP lawsuits in the European Union, are highly regarded in this area, and their decisions are enforceable in Germany, the largest national market in Europe. In addition, the legal cost of IP lawsuits in Germany is relatively low (only a fraction of legal cost of comparable lawsuits in the UK). Entrusting us with your case means that you have a contact person at the one of the best locations in the European Union.
In our public IP guide , we set out the general principles of the main intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, utility models, and designs) available in Europe and in particular in Germany. Please, use our contact form and specify whether you are an attorney or potential client in order to request the password for our IP guide comprising our fees or in order to ask for further comprehensive information about European or German intellectual property rights.