Decoration objects on a piece of furniture

Aesthetic designs and ornaments

New aesthetic creations that are mass manufactured can be protected by design rights. These typically last just a few years, which is often long enough given the short lifecycles in consumer goods and fashion. Design rights ignore any functionality – which, if novel and inventive, could be patentable. Consider a teapot: they all have the same basic function, but there are thousands of designs, some more commercially valuable than others. Designers use their “freedom of design” to create a variety of shapes, styles, patterns, ornaments and decorations.

Learn more about design protection from your national IP authority.

Designs which are novel and have “individual character” can be registered at EU level to provide a longer period of protection of up to 25 years.

More about design registration at the EUIPO