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Before filing

A design can be protected if it fulfils the following conditions:

  • The design is new
  • The design shows originality i.e. its overall appearance differs sufficiently from existing designs

We don’t check for these two conditions in the examination procedure – which is why you should check them yourself before filing. Find out if your design is new or whether an identical or similar one has already been protected or made available to the public. Gather information, for example, in specialised shops, via search engines on the internet, in specialised literature and at trade fairs.

No protection

The following cannot be protected as a design:

  • Intangible objects, for example musical creations,
  • Ideas and concepts,
  • Designs which result solely from the realisation of a technical function such as the form of a screw thread, for example,
  • Designs which are illegal, immoral or improper.

The following cannot be protected as a design but - in certain cases - can be protected by a patent:

  • Manufacturing processes – e.g. the method of clothing manufacture,
  • Technical characteristics of a design