Design rights can be used as tools to assert and protect one of the key assets of your business. A design right is the legal protection offered to the appearance of a product or to a part of a product. Anything from the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and material of the product itself or its ornamentation can be protected. Protection is offered to any industrial or handicraft item. This includes parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces. Computer programs are, however, excluded (and protected by copyright instead). In addition, only parts that remain visible during normal use of the product can be protected.

Protection for a design is only possible if the design is new (novelty) and has individual character. The novelty criteria is assessed against any design that has been made available to the public anywhere in the world. When assessing the individual character, the overall impression produced by the design on the informed user must be different from the overall impression produced on such a user by any previous design made public.

For more information, please contact Sara Sparring.

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