The novel appearance of a product with an utilitarian function may be protected as a design. Both three dimensional objects, like a chair or a table, and two dimensional drawings or patterns (e.g. fabrics) may be protected as a design.
Example of a design:
The shape of the box for collecting domestic chemical waste has been protected as a design. Third parties may bring any box in the economic traffic, but not a box that has the same outer appearance as the protected box or one strongly resembling this.
In the EU a design may be protected until one year after making it public. Therefore we recommend to protect designs before the product has been shown to the public.
For more information, please contact one of our specialists at telephone number +31 (0)20 305 02 20 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.