Protecting your innovation: Design application made easy

von Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

Have you ever designed an innovative product design and would like to protect it against imitation by competitors? The solution could be the application for a design at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO).

Previously known by the name “utility models“, the property right was renamed into “registered design” in early 2014. This also had impacts to the respective laws: The new law on design protection is now called the “Design Act” and the former regulation is now the “Design Regulation”.

In the following we would like to inform you about the procedure of the application and what you should take care of.

What can be protected?

A registered design protects the two or three dimensional appearance of a piece or a whole product. Thereby it makes no difference whether it concerns a toy, a graphic or a reamer. A two dimensional object are for example fabrics or wallpapers which can be protected against imitators as well.

Further basic requirements for all registered designs are the novelty (no identical published design) and the uniqueness (general impression differs from other designs).

Good Reasons for a Registration of a Design

The following reasons which militate for a design registration convince very fast:

  • Your product design (for instance a formation and coloration of a certain product) contributes significantly to the success of your company and your trademark, but suddenly the design is registered by a foreign person. Hence it is advisable to register your design precocious, since then you have more validity in front of the law.
  • By means of the registration of your design in the databank of the GPTO, you own the exclusive right to sue the design. Accordingly you are allowed to prohibit third parties to use your design for the production, the sale and for the import or export ...
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