The law on designs

“Ugly doesn’t sell”. This motto of the well-known 20th century industrial designer Raymond Loewy from the fifties is more apposite today that ever. Anybody wanting to stand out in the market needs to have products with a good and innovative design. Thanks to digital copying and reproduction facilities, designs have become easier and easier to copy – as evidenced by counterfeit goods which are entering the market in the European Union to an ever increasing extent. In order to repel copycats and make design development costs pay it is therefore essential for creatively innovative companies to achieve competitive freedom through legal protection for their designs.

Our firm has enjoyed a long tradition of expertise in protecting the design of products. Our range of services includes:

  • Strategic representation and advice on protection of designs at German, European and international level.
  • Advice in the run-up to the design of new products and assistance in their structuring.
  • Drawing up and filing applications for registered designs as what are now called “registered German designs”, Community registered designs and international registered designs, including cost-saving multiple applications.
  • Drafting contracts on design, licensing and utilisation.
  • Management, administration and monitoring of registered design portfolios.
  • Enforcement of rights to registered designs both in and out of court against product pirates and copycats.
  • Conducting border seizure proceedings in conjunction with customs authorities
  • Conducting and evaluating research on registered designs.
  • Annulment proceedings against unauthorised registered designs.
  • Representation and advice on issues of copyright design protection and protection of marks consisting of the shape of goods.
  • Representation and advice on protection in competition law against counterfeits (so-called “supplementary protection of creative property under competition law”).