Novelty and priority

Novelty as a requirement for protection (Art. 2 DesA)

If you wish to successfully file a design application, the design must be new when you submit it. A design is not new:

  • if you’ve already revealed it at a trade fair or exhibition before filing it
  • if you’ve made it publicly available online or elsewhere
  • if you already sell it
  • if an identical design is already available on the market

The design must also have individual character; in other words, it must differ in essential features from known designs. Third parties can legally contest the novelty or individual character of a design at any time.


Twelve months’ grace period (Art. 3 DesA)

Under certain circumstances, you can still file an application for up to 12 months from when you disclose your design. However, the situation is clearer and simpler if you apply to register the design before you disclose it publicly or conduct negotiations with partners.


Priority of up to six months (Art. 22 and 23 DesA)

You can extend protection of your design to other countries for up to six months from the first filing. During this period, the design is still considered new.