Designs and typographical fonts may be protected as designs. A design can be protected by design law to the extent that it is new and has individual character, i.e. the overall impression it produces shall differ from the overall impression produced by any other design which has been made available to the public. Design law allows the protection of products which achieve positive impressions and, purchase decisions of consumers via the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from its features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.
The term of a registered design may last up to 25 years. Design rights may be requested and registered nationally (with the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) for Germany) or regionally (with the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM) for the European Union). There is also the possibility of an international application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Although the design right is an independent IPR, its use may also be reasonable as a supplementary IPR. E. g., while technical aspects of an innovation are protected by a technical IPR, its esthetical aspects (e.g. the form) may additionally be protected by a supplementary design.
A registered design principally allows its proprietor to assert and enforce a variety of claims against design violators, e.g. with respect to omission, the destruction of violating products and/or the compensation for damages.
We would be happy to draft an application for your design and to represent you in the respective registration procedures before the GPTO, the OHIM or the WIPO. We are also capable of coordinating your design application(s) in foreign countries to ensure the enforcement and defense of your protected designs.