We are happy to provide the information below in German as well, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A well protected design is a strong, often underestimated property right.
A registered design or a Community design can be used to protect the external layout and design of a product or part thereof, graphic symbols and typographic characters. A design can be maintained in Germany and a Community design can be maintained in the European Union for up to 25 years, provided that the maintenance fees are paid.
For the design to be protected, it must be new and have individual character. A design has individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on that user by another design disclosed before the filing date. In assessing individual character, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design is taken into account.
German registered design
A design application can be filed for Germany at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). The German registered design grants a grace period of 12 months for own prior use and publication. In the case of the German registered design, a so-called exhibition priority can be claimed, provided that the design has been shown within six months prior to the filing date at an exhibition for which the Federal Ministry of Justice has approved exhibition protection or exhibition priority in the Federal Law Gazette.
European Community Design
A registered Community design is valid in all countries of the European Union and can be filed as a so-called Community design at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The European Community Design also grants a grace period of 12 months for own prior use and publication. A design is the appearance of a product: shape, pattern and colors.
Further information, such as on international designs, multiple applications and the cancellation or invalidity of designs is available on request.