Any design can be protected through design protection. In order for it to be possible for a product to be covered by design protection, it must be:
- Novel. This means that the design must differ from all previously published designs; it is for example not sufficient to simply change the colour of an existing design. The designer has a couple of years to register their design protection after publication.
- The design must be distinctive. This means that it cannot be so simple that it is considered to be a shape that everyone might use, such as a circle or triangle.
Designs can also not be protected if they contain someone else’s trademark, protected company names, portraits, family names, artists’ names or a copyright-protected work without permission. They can also not contain a national coat of arms or national flag, nor can they breach “good practice”.
Design protection is an intangible asset; the design can be sold or licensed out. It can also make it easier to find investors and business partners, as they can then be confident that your company owns the exclusive rights to the design.
Test your business
In the test, we will help you identify your intangible assets: