Design Patent Protection
Design patents protect the aesthetical surplus of a three dimensional product or of a pattern such as the pattern of a fabric. Many products own – independent of their technical implementation – a particular novel design that may be expressed by a particular three-dimensional form, by lines, contours, texture, colors or by a specific surface structure.
Design patent protection is neglected by many companies. Without good reasons. Design patent protection can be achieved quickly and in a cost efficient manner. Before Court, a design patent represents a strong weapon, in particular if the accused product and the protected product are essentially identical – which typically is the case in cases of product piracy, when a company’s product and design is unlawfully copied in an identical manner. I recommend that each novel product of a company that is visible to the consumer and that is not completely determined by technical features, is protected by a design patent.