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A registered design can be used to protect the design of a given product for a maximum term of 25 years.
National German Registered Designs
Scope of application:
A registered design represents an industrial property right that has been created specifically for the “ornamental” or, rather, for the “aesthetic” shaping of a given product, e.g. for two-dimensional designs and three-dimensional models that affect the beholder’s sense of shape and/or color.
Excluded from registered design protection are the visual features of products that represent purely technical functions, and designs that violate public order or public morals.
The design must be new and original on the filing date; it must exceed the average performance of a designer. Superior craftsmanship alone does not suffice.
Registered designs are subject to a novelty grace-period of six-month. Pursuant to this regulation, a design is considered “new” even if it has already been introduced at a trade fair, for instance, and is then registered within the six-month grace period.
As under patent law, registered design law also provides the possibility to protect one’s design outside Germany.
EU Registered Designs
With a European registered design, a single application will have the same effect for all member states of the European Union (currently 27 countries).
IR Registered Designs
An internationally registered design provides the possibility to obtain uniform protection in up to 45 countries (including extra-European ones) through filing of a single application.