Get answers to your design protection questions

What is design protection? Why register a design? Is design protection enough to protect your product from copying and imitations?

We have collected a wide range of design and design protection questions in this page to help you answer your questions about this particular type of IPR protection.

If you have further questions, please contact our design consultants.

What is design protection?

Your product’s design is mostly defined by its looks. When you register a design, you are protecting the product's appearance, that is, its colors, shapes and patterns. It can, for example, be a specially designed chair.

Why register a design?

You must register your design if you want to own the exclusive rights to the product's appearance and obtain protection rights against imitations.

Customers do not always choose products according to their function, but may also sometimes do so according to their design. Therefore, it can turn out to be very important to protect your product from copyists when you launch your product onto the market.

When to seek design protection

It is a good idea to register your design before investing in marketing and production. Protection for your design is effective from the date of application.

Please note that an application for EU registration of a design must be submitted within the first year of said design being made public.

How long does a design protection last?

A Danish design registration runs for five years at a time. By paying a renewal fee, registration is renewed for another 5 years; such a right may be renewed up to 4 times.

Our design consultants can help with everything from preliminary searches to registering your design and assessing whether your product should also be protected by a patent or a trademark. If you have further questions, please give us a call or send us an email.

Is design protection enough for your product?

Design protection is unfortunately not always enough.

A design registration protects the design elements of your product from being copied and from imitation products appearing on the market.

It is, however, important to consider the best combination of IP to best protect your product. You may want to protect both the appearance of your product - that is, the design - and the technical elements with a patent. The protection of your product’s name or logo would, in addition, require trademark registration.

Get in touch with one of our design consultants for an assessment of whether you should secure your product with other intellectual property rights.

What does design protection cost?

Design registration is often a relatively cheap and fast right to obtain compared to, for example, a patent or a trademark. But design protection always depends on the scope of the application and the amount of advice needed before, during and after filing.

Contact us for a quote for the preparation of your design application.

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.

What is the benefit of co-registration?

It is possible to register multiple designs under one application. Co-registration allows to save costs on official fees.

You can co-register designs that belong to the same major class in the Locarno design classification system. This would be the case, for example, if you wanted to register a chair, a sofa and a table. These products may be co-registered as they all belong to the “furniture” main class.

Call us if you have any questions about whether your designs can be co-registered.

Where should I apply for design protection?

A design registration is a geographical right. Therefore, you should consider the geographical scope of the protection you want to obtain.

You only need to apply for design protection in the markets where you want to market and sell your design, and maybe in the markets where you consider that there is a high risk that your design right will be infringed.

We therefore recommend that you receive guidance from our competent design consultants early in the process. They can advise which countries you should seek design protection in.

Do you need some strategic advice?

Talk to one of our consultants; they will assess the possibilities for your product and will ask you the right business-relevant questions.

Together we will build the protection that best suits you and your business. If you have any further questions, feel free to book one of our design consultants for a non-committal meeting; and remember, the first meeting is free of charge.