Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
NL-2591 XR - La Haye, Pays-Bas
Phone: +31 70 349 11 11
Intellectual Property Office
19-21, boulevard Royal
L-2914 - Luxembourg
Phone: +352 24 78 41 13
Fax: +352 22 26 60
Designs are two-dimensional representations. Models are three-dimensional objects or representations. An industrial design or model may apply to the appearance of a product as a whole or only a part thereof. It can consist of two-dimensional features such as the motifs, contours or colours of the product as well as of three-dimensional elements such as the product's shape or texture.
It is possible to register essentially any feature as an industrial design or model as long as it can relate purely to the visual appearance of the product and that is not dictated by its operation or the fact that it fits into another component or a more complex product. The maximum period of design or model protection is 25 years in the Member States of the European Union, with an initial 5-year duration, and the added option to renew it up to 4 times.
This protection does not cover:
The applicant is deemed to own the right to the design or model, which he or she is not obliged to market.
There are two types of registration:
Registration of the design or model with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property grants the exclusive right to the design or model in all the Benelux countries.
Beyond Benelux, it is possible to obtain uniform protection in the Member States of the European Union, through the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market by filing an application for a registered Community design or model.
Protection is also offered by the non-registered Community design or model right, which is acquired following the disclosure of the design or model within the European Union. It is limited to 3 years and grants protection against the servile copy of the design.
If the applicant's market is outside the European Union, there is a procedure in place in order to allow for the application of an international industrial design registration (The Hague System). International registration is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.