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These days, design plays an important role in the purchasing decision and therefore in the commercial success of a product. Oftentimes, coffee makers, cameras or refrigerators have exactly the same technical features. In these cases, consumers can see only that they look differently. A successful product design, however, attracts imitators. The imitation product is intended to dupe consumers into believing that it has the same quality and reputation as the original. Design protection is therefore more important than ever to ensure the commercial success of a product in competition.
Registered designs, sometimes called design patents, protect the outer appearance of almost all products that can be industrially or manually produced – from a car to a toothbrush. Even components of particular products can be protected, for example the sole of athletic shoes or the decoration on a pair of trousers. Many people do not know that design protection exists in the European Union for three years from publication, even without registration.
We will advise you in-depth on how you can protect the design of your products. Together with you, we analyse which features characterise the design of your product and how protection can be claimed. We develop strategies on how you can efficiently obtain design protection in Germany, in the European Union, and throughout the world.
The same type of comprehensive support is available from us when existing design rights are infringed. In Germany, it is often possible to halt IP infringements within a few days with the help of preliminary injunctions. We also examine whether design registrations performed by competitors are legal or whether they can be deleted.
Design protection by itself does not make or break a product, but it is indispensable to ensure the product’s success over time.