Design protection includes 3D as well as 2D designs, including typographical characters. Forms of products and of original packaging may be protected under certain circumstances as a 3D mark; but easier, faster and cheaper is the protection as a registered German, European and / or international design.
The design is usually granted within a few days, sometimes only hours, because it is not examined with regard to novelty and individual character at the time of registration. These requirements for protection are examined only in case of a infringement matter. In contrast to trademark registrations, a registered design can only obtain up to 25 years of protection. Design protection can, however, serve as a basis for a later trade mark registration, namely when the design is in use for some years and is known due to use and distribution in the relevant trade circles and thus gains reputation to overcome the hurdle of acquired distinctiveness. Under these conditions, also 2D and 3D characters which may not serve as trademarks as such at the beginning, may acquire enough distinctiveness to be registered as trademark.
We register designs worldwide, assist our clients in the enforcement and defense of their national or international registered rights before the offices and the courts.
In the area of piracy, we regularly use the means of border seizure and the warning letter, injunction, and - if necessary - court action. We regularly go to trade fairs, to defend or enforce the registered designs of our clients.
In connection with registered designs, we also offer preliminary searches to avoid obvious collisions and monitoring of registered rights.