A design applies to any product, that is to say to any object (three-dimensional) or any decorative motif (two-dimensional) provided that it is of a visible nature, therefore is perceptible to the eye.
It is protected for a period of five years from the registration date. This protection may be extended for periods of 5 years for a maximum of 25 years.
The design protects the appearance of a product or part of a product characterised in particular by its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials.
Appearances whose characteristics are exclusively imposed by the product’s technical function are excluded from Design protection. This criterion is difficult to assess and has been the subject of extensive case law.
Conditions of validity of a design
The design must be new, that is to say that on the registration date, no identical design must have been disclosed. In France, for example, disclosure by the creator or their assign destroys novelty unless the disclosure occurred less than twelve months before registration.
The design must have its own character, that is to say it must give the informed observer an overall visual impression different from that given by any previously disclosed creation.
For this condition, the margin of creativity and the technical or commercial requirements specific to each product are taken into account in particular.
How is a design registered?
There are several options available to applicants, including national registration, the model organised by the Hague Agreement and the European Community route. For us it is about directing you to the type of procedure that best suits your needs.
In the six months following the date when an applicant first applies to register a design, they may extend the protection of their design by benefiting from the date of the first application. This six-month period is called the “period of priority”.
In terms of Designs, many countries require absolute novelty and we strongly recommend proceeding with the extension of your design abroad within six months following the first registration.
We will of course remind you of all these deadlines.