A powerful legal tool, protecting the appearance of your products.

Designs protect the appearance of a product. Widely known and associated with fashion industry, designs are not limited thereto. Designs span the entire value chain. PESCHER IP specializes in protecting and enforcing your designs. You want to register your own design or feel disturbed by a competitor’s design? Reach out and get in touch to talk about a way to proceed.

You want to know more about designs? Please find the most common questions regarding designs in the FAQ section. Even though designs are not technical by their legal nature, designs are powerful intangible assets and legal tools, when done right:


FAQ - designs

First and foremost, registering designs allows you to document your innovation potential as a company.  This may be beneficial in case you seek funding or apply for one of the many innovation awards. Second, at least in Germany and Europe, designs are registered without material prosecution. Therefore, designs are already to be respected by the competition or they must file nullity actions. This is frequently the ideal basis to start license negotiations, before going to court. Having an IP right is therefore better in most cases than having no IP right at all. Furthermore, studies by EPO and EUIPO show that companies who invest in IP outperform their competition on the longer run. Business success is most of the time a marathon, not a sprint.

Designs have to be novel and show individual character. There are some exceptions to design protection e.g., designs must not refer to an appearance that is determined by exclusively technical circumstances and conditions.

A design is novel in cases where it is identical to a design known to the public before the date of filing. Identity is given, if differences between the designs in comparison are not only minor differences, which the informed user – as the “legal reference” – would ignore.


The individual character is defined with respect to the wealth of forms. The wealth of forms comprises all the relevant designs that are known to the public before the date of filing. It is highly recommended to perform a design search in the relevant registers. The individual character is defined based on an individual comparison of your design with each one of the wealth of forms.

Registering a design can be challenging, if not done frequently or if not based on the respective experience. First, you must know the wealth of forms, because your design has to be novel and show individual character with respect to each design of the wealth of forms. Furthermore, you have to assemble the design that its scope of protection is maximized with respect to the wealth of forms. The scope of a design comprising just a screenshot or photos showing all sides is most likely too narrow. Additionally, you must define those features, which are solely dictated by their technical function and in case of complex products, which are visible during use.

A design has a certain scope of protection which is defined by the wealth of form comprising all the designs up to the date of filing. If the wealth of forms is great, the scope of protection is narrower, when compared to a small wealth of forms. The design gives a general impression to the informed user. A design infringes, if it gives the same general impression and does not keep the required “distance”, based on the design’s scope.