Do you have packaging, toys, tools, jewellery, or household goods where protection against others copying it is essential
Then a design protection might be relevant.
However, the functionality or the technical features of a product cannot be protected by a design. The functionality should be protected through other types of protection, that is, protection through patent or utility model. Designs may be used together with trademarks to protect the entirety of a product. In addition to protecting the their name by a registered trademark, The Coca-Cola Company has, for example, also protected the shape of the bottle and the logo design through design registrations (the bottle is also protected by trademark).
What is required for protection?
A registrable design must be novel, in that it must not be publicly known prior to the filing of an application. Thus, the object for the design must not have been put on the market, displayed in exhibitions or brochures, or mentioned in lectures etc. In addition, a design must have individual character and differ substantially from already marketed products and prior registered designs.
The Danish Design Act of 1 October 2002 introduced a grace period of 12 months. This gives the proprietor an opportunity to:
publish the design; and to test the position of the design on the market before applying for registration of a design.
However, in order to maintain the novelty of the design, it is necessary to file a design application within 12 months of the publication of the design. If no such application is filed, the design will not be considered novel and will not be registrable.
Why protect a design?
Design protection gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace by helping you differentiate your product from others. Design protection adds value to your design/trademark and thereby to your business. By protecting your design, you can prevent others from commercially using a design identical or very similar to your own design.
How to obtain design protection?
Design protection is obtained by filing a design application with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office or the European Office for Harmonization in The Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs). The design team at HØIBERG will assist you in preparing and filing your application.