A successful design combines creativity, innovation, technical perfection and functionality – and attracts imitators. Protecting your design is essential to strengthening your competitive advantage, preventing unauthorized copies of your work and building assets for value creation.

The comparatively low cost and broad scope of design protection have recently contributed to a dramatic increase in numbers of design applications. This makes sense: designs protect physical products and their parts but also user interfaces of software applications, icons, and apps.

When considering protecting a design, a comprehensive strategy is essential to prevent infringer workarounds. For instance, it is possible to protect the design of a particular product and design variations. In addition, postponing design publication is an effective means of safeguarding designs; such postponement shields your design from the prying eyes of competitors eager for an early peek at your product.

We advise you comprehensively throughout the development of application strategies, the application process and the enforcement of your design rights. Our design team oversees hundreds of design applications annually in all jurisdictions. We understand the technical background of your products and ensure that the filings guarantee maximum protection of the relevant design features – in Germany, in the EU and around the globe. We understand that the widely non-harmonized design requirements worldwide require that multiple national requirements be taken into account when preparing our first filing. In this way, we secure a solid priority basis for subsequent applications in other countries.

We work with a network of highly skilled technical drafting technicians, who are familiar with the requirements of the patent and trademark offices worldwide. Our network of local counsels always matches your needs and your industry to achieve fast and effective registrations of your designs in your preferred jurisdictions.

We successfully represent clients in cancellation and invalidity procedures in the German PTO and EUIPO, all the way up to the EU General Court and CJEU.

With FTO searches and searches for designs of specific competitors, we also help our clients to avoid conflicts with third-party designs.

Our litigators enforce your registered and unregistered designs against knock-offs and counterfeits. They work closely with our patent attorneys to grasp all technical aspects of your products. As in trademark litigation, we rely on a solid foundation of experience in all fields, including consumer products, medical devices, electronics, fashion, sports articles, luggage and luxury products. When enforcing your designs, our litigators cover all IP rights that can additionally protect product design, such as trademarks, copyrights and competition law.

Focus areas

  • Strategy advice
  • Design applications worldwide
  • Portfolio management worldwide
  • Infringement proceedings and preliminary injunctions
  • Validity proceedings
  • Licensing agreements