Design protection, what for?

"Why should I aim for design protection, I already have a patent?" -  This question is frequently put to me by my clients in my consultation discussion. The answer to this is simple, since the patent protects the technical aspects of the invention, the so-called technical teaching.Using the example of a lamp, this explains “how does the light of the illuminant come to the distantly located surface on which it is radiated”.

The patent however is, of its legal nature, not provided to protect the visual appearance of the lamp, which the observer so likes that he would like to purchase the lamp immediately.

The visual appearance of the lamp can only be protected with a so-called design application - previously the more cumbersome term registered design application was more common.

This is because the design - the registered design - is of its legal nature provided to protect the visual appearance of the object - in this example the lamp. The design protection therefore does not extend to the technical aspects of the lamp, but only to the external visual appearance.

Expressed in the somewhat cumbersome words of the law, a design is the two-dimensional or three-dimensional appearance of an entire product or a part thereof, which is obtained in particular from the features of lines, contours, colours, shape, surface structure or the materials of the product itself or its adornment.

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