Filing an application to register a design or model, according to current national laws, serves the purpose of protecting the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.
Registering a design or model entitles the holder to the exclusive right to use it (fabrication, offer, marketing, importing, exporting) and to forbid third parties from using it without his consent.
These rights extend to any design or model which produces the same general impression in informed users.
A registration for design or model is to be considered valid until proven otherwise, which an interested third party may do at any time.
The registration of the design or model has a five-year validity starting from the application filing date; the holder may request to extend its validity for an additional five-year period up to a maximum validity of 25 years from the application filing date.
A registration application must contain one or more images of the product to be protected, which may be photographs or sufficiently detailed drawings, possibly accompanied by a short description of the product itself.
In one single filed application, the registration of multiple designs or models can be requested, provided they relate to products exhibiting common and mutually homogeneous aesthetic characteristics.