Design has become an indispensable part of our daily life. Appearances play an important role, not only for furniture, cars or fashion, but the form of simple appliances becomes more and more unique.
Creating a beautifully designed product often comes with serious investments in terms of time, energy and money.
Prevent your new design from being copied
By registering your design, you can prevent that your competitors copy the design of your products. This allows you to protect your investments.
KOB will assist you with legal expertise, during the registration procedure and after the registration of your design. We will assess which designs have been registered by your competitors and we will help you in choosing the designs to be filed and the images to be used. We will determine the best registration strategy and defend your rights in case of infringement.
A design is defined by law as follows: “the appearance of a product or part thereof. A drawing or design is protected insofar as the drawing or design is new and has a unique character.”
A drawing protects the 2D design of a product, e.g. the pattern of a fabric, motives and graphical symbols. In case of a design registration, it concerns the 3D design, e.g. a chair, electrical appliances, purses, roof tiles, cutlery … The dimensions of your product do not play a role for the protection of the design.
In order to be granted a design registration, your design should be new and possess an individual character. In other words, no existing product having an identical or similar design should be present on the market.
In order to be valid, the registration should take place within a year following the first public disclosure of your drawings or new products. It is advisable not to wait too long before having your new products or drawings registered.
What is excluded from protection? Any forms necessary to obtain a certain technical effect will not be eligible for design protection.
In case you make important financial and creative efforts for the creation of a new product, you may be granted exclusivity on the design by registration. This exclusivity will be yours as long as it has not been established by a third party that your design was not new or did not possess an individual character at the moment of the registration.
A design registration also has a preventive character: it may deter third parties from copying your products. The simple and quick procedure grants you a registered right which serves as the basis on which you can easily act against infringers.
As the owner of a registered design, you are entitled to act against third parties who manufacture, offer or introduce the same or a similar design on the market.
The countries in which you commercialise or wish to commercialise the design, determine the strategy and the procedure for your design protection. KOB will assist you in determining the best strategy, tailored to your company. There are several procedures:
Benelux – in case you only wish to protect your design in Belgium or in the Benelux, you can apply for a Benelux registration (a registration limited to the Belgian territory does not exist);
Registered community design – in case you wish to protect your design in various European countries, you can obtain protection in all the member states of the European Union, by filing a single application as a Community design;
International design – In the event you wish to protect your design in various countries around the world, you can indicate those countries for which you wish to be protected from a group of approximately 64 countries, which have acceded the international system;
National – in case you only wish to protect your design in a specific country (outside Belgium), you can have your design registered by means of a national procedure in any country that has a design law.
Please note that you protection can be extended to other countries until at the latest six months following your first design registration. After the expiration of that term, this will no longer be possible.
In most countries design registrations are valid for 5 years and can be renewed 4 times for a five-year-period each time, meaning that you can protect your design for 25 years.
KOB provides expert advice and assists you in handling each infringement.
Our experienced legal experts can represent you in any infringement procedure before the official authorities (invalidation actions).
Your design registration is a property title, which can be transferred or which can be licensed. KOB can also assist you in this respect. We draw up the necessary agreements and make sure that the transfer or the licence is registered with the official authorities.
Since 1981 KOB has ensured the adequate protection of your intellectual property against counterfeiting in Belgium and abroad.
Our team includes experienced engineers and legal experts who undertake ongoing further training and who are officially recognised on a Belgian, Benelux and European level so that your invention, trademark or design is in safe hands.
President Kennedypark 31C
Tel. +32 (56) 21 35 38