Required data and documents
You can file your design application online (without signature) or electronically (with a signature) or file a conventional paper-based application. In any case, you must provide details of the applicant and about the products for which the design is intended to be used. Furthermore, you must submit a representation of the design that is suitable for publication.
Details of the applicant
Natural persons (private individuals), legal entities or partnerships having legal capacity (for example, GbR [partnership organised under the Civil Code]) can file a design application. The details of the applicant must include the name/trade name and address.
- for natural persons:
- If the design registration is sought for “eingetragener Kaufmann (e.K.)” (registered merchant), the name of the company as recorded in the commercial register must be indicated.
- If design registration is sought for several persons, the names and addresses of residence of all individuals must be indicated.
- for legal entities (for example, GmbH [limited company], AG [incorporated company]):
- If the applicant is recorded as a legal entity in a register (for example, a commercial register), the name or trade name corresponding to the register entry must be indicated.
- for partnerships having legal capacity (for example, GbR):
- A partnership organised under the Civil Code (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts - GbR) can be recorded in the Design Register if the name and address of at least one partner authorised to represent are indicated in addition to the name and the address of the partnership.
Representation of the design
You can attach up to ten photographic or other graphic reproductions as representation of the design, particularly, to show the design from different angles. Drawings or computer graphics are also possible.
Illustrations (reproductions) with different design variants (for example, different colour or form) cannot be combined to a single representation. Any divergent product design constitutes a separate design and as such must be applied for separately. The representation of the design is essential since it determines the subject matter and scope of protection of the design right. The subject matter of protection is restricted to the visible features of appearance in the representation, this means only those items are protected that can be seen in the representation. It is in your own interest to make sure that the features of the design for which you seek protection are clearly shown in the representation.
The three most important representation requirements
- Each illustration must not contain more than one view of the design. The first illustration should show an overall view of the design because this illustration is displayed in the "Result list" in DPMAregister upon registration in the Design Register.
- The illustrations must not show any other objects that are not part of the design. If, in exceptional cases, such objects are shown for illustrating the design, they must be marked by visual disclaimers.
- Furthermore, the design must be shown against a neutral background (single homogeneous colour, which clearly differs from the design, for example, white or grey). The illustrations must not contain any measurements, explanatory texts or other additional descriptions.
Guidelines on the common practice of the participating IP offices of the requirements for graphic representation of designs with regard to a neutral background, visual disclaimers and acceptable types of views were set out at the European level. Detailed information on this subject and examples of acceptable illustrations are available in the Common Communication "Convergence on graphic representations of designs" (2.79 MB) of 15 April 2016.
If you file a conventional paper-based design application, you can either glue or print the representation (illustration) of the design onto the representation form R 5703.1 (in German) or file it as a JPEG file (*.jpg) on an electronic data carrier.
Data carrier formats for the representation
The following formats of electronic data carriers are acceptable, pursuant to Section 7(5), third sentence, of the Design Ordinance (Designverordnung):
CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW. The individual image files must be stored in JPEG format (*.jpg) in the root directory of the blank data carrier (no subdirectories). Each file must contain only one illustration.
The minimum resolution must be 300 dpi and the image size must be at least three cm by three cm. The size of a single file must not exceed two megabytes. For the file names of the individual illustrations, Arabic numerals must be used (for example, 1.1.jpg). The number left of the decimal point corresponds to the number of the design and the number right of the decimal point corresponds to the number of the illustration.
Indication of products
Finding terms of goods
Your application must contain an indication of products. That means you must indicate the goods for which you intend to use the design. For this purpose, a suitable term must be chosen from the List of goods - design. Please indicate a suitable term of goods for each design and use our search engine for this purpose. It contains all accepted terms of goods. The maximum number of terms of goods for each design is five.
Picture: iStock.com/D3Damon, Picture 2: iStock.com/alex_mit, Picture 2: iStock.com/alex_mit
Last updated: 8 May 2020