The designs unit examines whether or not the application contains formal defects. It also checks whether or not the design applied for is eligible for designs protection at all and whether the design complies with public policy and accepted principles of morality. The design must not constitute an improper use of any State emblems and other signs of public interest. If these requirements are met, the design unit enters the design in the Designs Register.
However, the designs unit does not examine whether or not the design actually fulfils the substantial requirements for protection, that means whether it is in fact new and has individual character. In case of a dispute, these requirements are examined by the civil courts. However, if the requirements are not met at the date of filing the application - despite design registration - no IP right is created, from which rights might be derived.
The design registration is then published in the electronic designs gazette (Geschmackmusterblatt).
You can defer the publication of the design for up to 30 months. This may be useful if you wish to wait and see whether your product is accepted in the market or if, for other reasons, you wish to keep the design secret for the time being. Furthermore, in that case, you may deposit a two-dimensional specimen (for example a textile or wallpaper sample) instead of furnishing a representation of the design. To request deferment of publication the applicant has only to check a box in section 6 of the request form.
In case of deferment of publication, design protection is initially limited to 30 months. During this deferment period you may decide if you wish to "extend" protection to 5 years from the date of filing. You do not have to furnish a separate request for this purpose. You simply pay the extension fee within the deferment period. If you had filed a two-dimensional specimen, you must additionally submit a representation of the design within this period.
After extension the registered design is published in the electronic designs gazette (Geschmacksmusterblatt).
The first term of protection lasts 5 years. In case of deferment of publication it is 30 months. It may be renewed up to four times. The maximum term of protection is 25 years.
© 2013 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 24/05/13