Good design deserves good design protection
With a patent, you can protect innovations that solve a technical problem. However, it may be that the main focus of your innovation is not on the technology but on the appearance and design of the product.
4 strong reasons for design protection
THE MARKET VALUE. Good design often means good sales. The design factor can also be a success when negotiating with investors, signing license agreements or preparing other financially based transactions.
THE TRADEMARK. Good design is often a sign for market leaders. We humans usually like thoughtfully designed products and also like to display them, both privately and professionally.
THE BURDEN OF EVIDENCE. If you end up in conflict with someone who copies your design, it is much easier to prove that you own the design if you have a documented right.
COMPLEMENT. With a patent, you can protect your innovations that solve a technical problem. With a complementary design application, you can protect kay design elements in your innovation.
Criteria for design protection
You have probably invested a lot of time and money in developing your unique design. A registered design protection gives you a documented protection for the design for a period of a maximum of 25 years. Your design should result in a product or product part - an industrially or artisanally produced object. Here are the most important criteria that must be met:
NEW. Your unique design may not have already been made publicly available. Your design is not considered to be publicly available if professionals in the product area probably did not know that the design was made public. If the design is shown, there are certain deadlines within which you can still seek protection!
FEATURE. Your design must be able to demonstrate sufficiently distinctive features and characteristics compared to what is previously known.
What can be protected?
When deciding to protect a specific design, it is important to think carefully about how it can be done in the best way. The form of your design application affects the scope of protection. Think about what the key design elements are and how these can best be protected. We are experts and can help you in these matters!
Several countries have specific requirements for drawings and views of the product and design. Not knowing how to deal with this can create obstacles for you, already in the application process.
Examples of protection possibilities:
- The appearance of a product or part of a product when it differs significantly from what has previously become known and is not too simple (banal).
- Packaging, so-called equipment tags, graphic symbols, fonts, computer symbols, a special layout and web design.
- 3-dimensional objects, product series, equipment, decorations and ornaments.
A design registration is generally valid for 5 years at a time and can be renewed for further 5-year periods up to a total of 25 years.
Obvious benefits of design protection
It is becoming increasingly common for the appearance of products or marketing to be a decisive competitive factor. A design strategy aims to secure and control the high value that lies in your exclusive right to unique product designs and other graphic expressions that are representative of your company.
Why a design protection strategy?
- You can more easily take action against unauthorised copies that exploit your design.
- You decide where design protection should apply. For example, throughout the EU, the US and China?
- Design protection will increase the value of your product and help you build markets.
- Design protection will increase the value of your business and make it more visible to potential investors.
- Your design right will give you a good starting point when concluding sales and licensing agreements.
- If your company is seeking funding for development costs, for example, design protection can be a decisive factor.
- The costs of design protection are relatively low.
- You can register your design in the EU up to 12 months after it has been published.