The design (registered design), which belongs to non-technical protective rights, protects the aesthetic particularity of objects (products and graphics), i.e. the external appearance (design) of an object. In particular, two decisive prerequisites have to be met to claim the protection: on the one hand, a worldwide novelty must be guaranteed on the filing date, a period of grace of twelve months being able to be claimed if need be. On the other hand, the object must have a particularity with which it stands out from already known objects. As with the utility model, the object is examined only from formal viewpoints, so that an assertable protective right is acquired very promptly.
The registered design is a relatively inexpensive right. To maintain a registered design, renewal fees have to be paid to the DPMA [German Patent and Trademark Office] after the 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th year. The maximum term is 25 years from the date of filing with the DPMA.
Apart from the German registered design, there is also the possibility of acquiring protection abroad. Except for national applications abroad, protection in all the contracting states can be obtained, supported by the Hague Convention on the International Registration of Industrial Designs and Models (HMA), by a single registration with the International Office for the Protection of Intellectual Property (WIPO) in Geneva. A community registered design can also be filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain.
Our team will be happy to advise you on all matters relating to the subject design.