Design Registration

Styling and design have an increasingly important role during the creation process. It is clear that the design of a product can have its own place on the market (or with packaging on the shelf). This is not only the case for 3-dimensional objects such as a car, toilet bowls and coffee packs but it also applies to two-dimensional designs such as logos, design sticker sheets, wallpapers or diagrams.

With a design registration, the visual characteristics of products / packaging etc. are protected. Many companies rely on copyright (which occurs naturally and automatically) to provide sufficient coverage. In a conflict, however, the other party will contest the existence of copyright. A design registration is therefore a perfect alternative to proof the existence of certain rights. In case of a conflict the court will assume the legal validity of a design registration. This also has a greater deterring effect on possible copy cats (at relatively low cost).

Not every design may be registered. Legally, it is necessary that the design is new and has an individual character. In many countries complete novelty is necessary. Simply put, the new product / new design may not have been shown anywhere in the world. So register your design first before the design is displayed. In Europe (and a few other countries), it is possible, even after the first disclosure to file an application. In most countries, within one year after the first publication / disclosure the design should be registered. The duration of design protection in the UK (and Europe) is 5 years and can often be extended to end 25 years. To check whether a product is new, most designers do advance searches online. A design search provides additional information on similar designs registered elsewhere.

The individual character of a design is another aspect, and can best be described as the designer adding something unique / creative to the product. Through this unique element the new product takes its own place between all existing products. It does not apply to the functional aspects (how the shape of a product may be useful useful), but especially to the unique aesthetic aspects which give the product its own face.

More information about Design Registration?
Please contact one of the lawyers at Abcor.
This can be done via the form below.

Phone number
Our Clients
Follow Abcor

IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?