Design, patent and trademark protection: What are the differences?
Design protection is a good complement to patents and trademarks. In a nutshell, design registration protects your product's appearance, while a patent protects the product's function and a trademark protects the product's name or logo.
If the most important thing about your product is the functionality, such as is the case with medicine, then it might make sense to consider both patent and trademark protection, while design registration may be less relevant. Conversely, if you make ordinary bottle openers that just have a special appearance, then it may be that the look (the aesthetic design) is the most important trait. If said bottle opener is marketed under a special name, then protecting the brand with a trademark will also be relevant.
In the EU, a registered design protection is valid for up to 25 years, provided it is filed within the first year of the design being made public. It is, therefore, important to think about design protection from early on, i.e., before product launch.
Our patent, trademark and design consultants advise on the right combination of protection that will secure your company's inventions and brand well into the future.