Successful design should also be protected.

Contract expertise

  • License agreement
  • User agreement
  • Knowhow contract
  • Freelancer contract
  • Franchise agreement
  • non disclosure agreement

Design law

Innovative companies regularly place high demands on the design associated with their products. The ideas and the know-how which contribute to this creative work represent a substantial part of the company value. Thus, companies are very interested in protecting such value. New, successful products often face the risk of being counterfeited by competitors or foreign enterprises the economic model of which is the imitation of other products.

Regarding the design, the German and European law offers a wide range of possibilities to build up protection. Our attorneys at law are integrated in a large number of creative processes of our clients, and support them in design law by exhausting the wide range of protective mechanisms.

Irrespective of whether products come from the furniture industry, the camping or the outdoor sector or the supplier industry for vehicles, boats or IT devices up to highly specialized medical devices and analytical instruments, the application for the registration of an industrial design regularly is a part of the IP strategy to provide comprehensive protection to the know-how. For this purpose, in the preparatory stage, we perform the necessary searches and provide legal advice for avoiding conflicts with existing industrial property rights of third parties.

We file the applications for the registration of industrial designs in Germany or the European Union for our clients, and we extend these applications if necessary and possible, also to other countries. Moreover, our activity comprises the support of the respective industrial property right portfolios of our clients and therefore the monitoring of deadlines and processes so that our clients can fully focus on their actual business activities.

Especially in the fashion or lifestyle industry, the life cycle of products is very short.  It is not always necessary and financially justified to apply for the registration of an industrial design.  The European legislation introduced the unregistered Community design on the pan-European level some years ago. It addresses precisely this issue. This property right which is limited to a period of 3 years allows optimal protection for fast-moving products. In this context, we provide advice to our clients as early as in the preparatory stage so that the necessary preconditions of this property right are met and later on, if necessary, proof can be furnished that such preconditions have been met.

Apart from that, we enforce our clients‘ rights to their design against imitators and product pirates on the basis of this unregistered Community design. In this regard, we can make use of our extensive expertise which also allows medium-sized companies to assert their rights in a comprehensive manner. In case of major companies, we support their legal department or their task force in the coordination of measures to be taken in this connection on the national and international level.

The protection, defence, exploitation and sale of ideas, know-how and inventions always require a contractual agreement which may be very individual and detailed and which anticipates and allows future development. In this respect, our clients can rely on our experience gained from numerous contract negotiations with different companies from various industrial sectors.

A professional contract review and contract drafting allows our clients a fair cooperation with their contractual partners, avoids disputes and is future-proof.

Do you have any further questions? Our foregoing general information cannot replace legal advice in individual cases. If you require legal advice or legal representation for your specific concern, we will be pleased to be at your disposal. Simply call or write us.  

  • Provision of advice on all issues relating to design protection under the aspect of design law, plagiarism protection in competition and copyright law
  • Enforcement of design protection against infringers and product pirates
  • Written warnings under the design law
  • Defence against written warnings due to design rights
  • Searches regarding industrial designs
  • Application for the registration of industrial designs with DPMA and OHIM
  • Proceedings relating to design law before the patent offices, e.g. opposition and cancellation proceedings
  • Preliminary injunctions in case of infringements of industrial designs or product piracy
  • Provision of advice and support in case of customs seizures
  • Drawing up of non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements
  • Provision of advice in the field of fashion innovations and the protection of fashion innovations
  • Negotiating and drafting of licence agreements / usage agreements / exploitation agreements