Appropriate protection for a product design is offered by the design registration. The design registration protects the design of three-dimensional objects such as pieces of furniture, cars etc. An application for a design registration can be filed also for two-dimensional patterns such as drapery, hangings, logos, graphic designs etc.
A registered design grants the exclusive right of use of a design. It interdicts any unauthorized use of the design by third parties. This covers both offering products in which the design is used and manufacturing, selling or importing and exporting such products.
Design protection is obtained with the registration of the design in the design register of the German Patent and Trademark Office. A design protection can be maintained up to 25 years after the filing date by the payment of prolongation fees.
Designs which are registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office enjoy protection exclusively for the region of Germany. If worldwide use of a design is intended, a European community design application or an international design (IR) application should be filed.