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Design patents / registered designs

The innovative design of a product can be protected as a design patent or registered design if the design conveys an overall aesthetic impression that is distinct from all other previously known designs. The holder of a design patent or registered design can demand that any party that imitates the design cease and desist and pay damages.

A drawing or photograph of the design can be used to submit a design patent or registered design application. The design must in all cases be presented against a neutral background and, if possible, from multiple different perspectives (in some countries, as many as seven different views of a specific design are required).

Depending on where you wish to protect your design, you have various options:

  • German design patent or registered design,
  • European Community design,
  • Internationally registered design, and/or
  • National design patent or registered design in a country other than Germany, either in Europe or elsewhere.

Most competent authorities merely review the purely formal prerequisites for registration of a design patent or design. If the design patent or design is approved for registration, the initial term of protection is five years from the date of registration. Depending on the jurisdiction, however, this protection can be extended for another five years as many as four times.

We offer a range of services in connection with registered designs. For information, please see the following page: Services design patent and registered design law.