General information on designs

The appearance of a product is of strategic importance in business. It helps to distinguish products from different competing companies and to attract customers. The appearance of the product contributes to the success of a business.

Determining the shape and aesthetics of a product often requires a lot of research and investment. Protecting these efforts with design law becomes a critical business issue, especially in creative industries such as fashion or the automotive industry.

According to Article L511-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code (CPI): “the appearance of a product, or part of a product, characterised by its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials, may be protected as a design or model. These characteristics may be those of the product itself or its ornamentation. ”

The article specifies that a product can be: any industrial or craft object, including parts designed to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, displays, graphic symbols and typography, except computer programs.”

A distinction is therefore made between the materialisation of 2D creation, drawings, and the materialisation of 3D creations, and models. However, the registration of a drawing covers its three-dimensional reproduction and vice versa.

This definition implies that the object of protection is the aesthetic or decorative aspect of the product and that its appearance should not be dictated by its technical function.

This right covers a variety of industrial or craft objects, such as luxury goods, household appliances, textile designs, a graphical user interface or even a simple bottle.

See our articles on designs: