Design protection Germany: Register a German design at a fixed price / design registration
The registration of a design in Germany is an important step to protect the form of a development or a new product. We are happy to help you to get a design protection in Germany (German design)! With our assistance, you can obtain a registered design patent in Germany for as little as a low-cost attorney’s fee (fixed price) of 200 € (plus official fees of the German Patent and Trademark Office – GPTO / DPMA). This covers, among other things, a German design application (online) as well as (ideally) also the design registration in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office in Munich. Contact us or find out more about our range of services here if you would like to register a German design with the help of our IP law firm in order to obtain design protection in Germany.
Your industrial design application will be handled and executed by our “Design Lawyer” (i.e. Patent Attorney – European Patent, Trademark and Design Attorney) or German Attorney at Law (Certified Intellectual Property Lawyer) with more than ten years of experience in the field of industrial property protection, having handled numerous designs.
We also assist e.g. in design applications in the following countries or regions:
The design protection in Germany can e.g. cover the following goods or products:
- Two-dimensional appearances (2D designs) and three-dimensional appearances (3D designs) defined by the features of lines, contours, colors, the shape or surface texture.
- Examples: Industrial or handcrafted items such as furniture, glassware, lamps, lighting fixtures, everyday objects, etc., including packaging, furnishings, graphic symbols (logo protection) and typographic characters, as well as individual parts assembled into a complex product. User interfaces of websites or apps can also be protected in this way.
Our service offers for the registration of your designs in Germany:
Preparation of professional technical drawing/s for application/s by specialized illustrators according to your specifications: 150 € per DIN A4 page.
“Express processing” of your order by attorney: For an additional fee of 100 € we will file your trademark application within 24 hours on working days (Monday – Friday) after the order has been placed, payment has been made and the requirements have been met (including consultation and preparation of the application), which may be advisable for very time-critical applications. (The regular processing time for trademark applications can take a few business days.)
Collective application (especially for the “Standard” package): If you would like to apply for more than one German design in a series / product category (so-called multiple application / collective application / serial application), we will be happy to make you an individual offer once the scope of the applications has been determined. This option can be used to protect not only the object as a whole, but also parts of it or special manifestations / model variants.
Frequently asked questions in connection with design protection in Germany:
Section 1 No. 1 of the German Act on the Legal Protection of Designs (German Design Act – DesignG) defines a “design” as two-dimensional or three-dimensional appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation.
According to section 2 German Design Act, a design shall be protected as a registered design if it is new and has individual character. “Novelty“ exists, if no identical design has been disclosed prior to the date of filing of the application. Designs shall be deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details. In contrast, a design shall have individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been disclosed prior to the date of filing of the application.
According to section 3 German Design Act features of appearance of products which are solely dictated by their technical function shall be excluded from design protection (for this purpose there is patent protection and utility model protection). In addition, designs which are contrary to public policy or the accepted principles of morality or other badges, emblems and escutcheons of public interest are also excluded.
If you want to protect your logo, there are various ways to achieve this logo protection. If it is a new logo, a design can be applied for if the requirements are met. If the logo has already been in use for some time and if it should be used as an indication of origin, trademark protection – for example as a figurative mark – can be considered as an alternative or in addition. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages due to the different objectives and requirements.
A registered German design is registered solely in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. If a design is to be protected in other countries besides Germany, protection must be claimed separately there – which is also possible via an international design. If, in addition to Germany, neighboring countries such as Austria, France, Poland, the Czech Republic or the Netherlands, etc. should also be protected, it is advisable to apply for an “EU design“ / “Community design”, which – if successfully registered – gives protection in all member states of the European Union (EU).
Apart from a few exceptions – according to other legal regulations – a design that is not protected in Germany can be imitated, copied and adopted by third parties without being able to do anything against it. On the one hand, a registered design defines the scope of protection of the design, creates a monopoly right and enables action to be taken against imitators. On the other hand a registered design can e.g. be highlighted in advertising. In addition, licenses can be granted to a protected design.
The costs of a design registration in Germany depend on the number of designs to be protected. In general, the costs consist of the official fees of the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) as well as our fee, if we are allowed to assist you. The official fee for the application for up to ten designs in Germany amounts to 60 € for an electronic application. For additional designs within the scope of this collective application further 6 € official fee per additional design right will be charged.
Overview of official fees for design applications in Germany:
Basically, you can apply for a German design yourself. However, if you do so, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of design law. Applications filed by a “non-expert” can lead to an incorrect or ultimately useless design application. In addition, an address in Germany is required for the application.
When registering a design in Germany, it all depends on the details. Applications filed by “laymen” often aim for a too narrow scope of protection or don’t protect what is actually intended to be protected. In order to avoid mistakes in the design application and to obtain the best protection, it is often advisable to seek advice from specialists in this field.
Unfortunately, the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) does not refund official fees even if the application was not successful for whatever reason. This fee will be retained because of the processing of the design application up to that point.
The design form itself cannot be changed after the design application or design registration. Only a withdrawal or deletion is still possible. However, modifications or further developments of the registered design can – if the requirements for protection are met – be protected via a new design application or within the scope of a multiple application.
No, German design law does not make an examination of prior rights of third parties. The German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) therefore registers a design without a corresponding examination. This can lead to the registration of designs that are not legally valid and to their later cancellation. At least a certain preliminary search for corresponding designs can therefore be useful.
Procedure of a design registration in Germany (if we may support you):
➔ Order & payment ➔ summary & draft ➔ filing / application and forwarding of official fees after your confirmation > examination of the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) for formal requirements ➔
- ➔ if problems ➔ provisional refusal with setting of a time limit to remedy the objection by submitting a statement to the Patent and Trademark Office ➔ if this is successful, examination will be continued // if not successful, then rejected and possibility to take action against it
- ➔ if no problems ➔ registration of the design and forwarding of the design certificate
(Duration from application to registration of the design at the GPTO ideally between some weeks and several months.)
Once the German design has been registered, you may advertise with it, for example, by referring to a “registered German design” or a “design protection in Germany”.
A registered design in Germany gives – as long as no prior cancellation has taken place – protection for five years (calculated from the filing date).
After the initial protection period of five years has expired, the design can be renewed at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) for another five years up to the maximum protection period of 25 years.
Unlike a trademark, a design does not have to be used in Germany. Even non-use is therefore not a reason for cancellation of the design. There is neither an obligation to use a design, nor is there a grace period for use.