Protection by designs

Nowadays, the design of a product is often at least as important as its use function. After all, an original and catchy design contributes to its positive image. It is therefore very important to protect the appearance of the product, or design. Professional design protection gives you, the designer or rights holder, an exclusive right to that design.

Design protection by Arnold & Siedsma

Our services extend over the entire life cycle of a design, in other words from the creation of the design to the registration and defense of your design rights. Design protection at Arnold & Siedsma includes advising on options for protection, researching availability, registering the design, taking action against third-party use or registrations, as well as maintaining and managing your design portfolio.

Design protection anywhere in the world

Through our extensive international network, we can take the required actions for you in any country, anywhere in the world. Arnold & Siedsma will be pleased to work with you to devise the correct strategy to achieve the best possible protection for your designs.

What is a design?

The appearance of a product (three-dimensional) or drawing/pattern (two-dimensional) can be protected as a design. This always involves the appearance of a specific product or a specific drawing, not the protection of an idea.

Design registration: important aspects to consider

The appearance of a product or drawing can be protected as a design. Important aspects to consider by obtaining a design registration:

Legal requirements

A prerequisite for design protection is that the design and therefore the appearance must be novel (has not yet been brought into the public domain) and must differ from anything that is already on the market (it must have an individual character). If the object has not only a new appearance but also a technical effect, patent protection can possibly be recommended. Design law therefore protects a different aspect compared with patent law and it is therefore possible for both design and patent protection to be requested for a specific product.


A design can be protected worldwide if that is what you require. Although the procedures for design registrations are not always identical in the different countries, the ultimate aim is the same, i.e. to obtain an exclusive right to your design in a geographical area that is of interest to you (the Benelux, Europe or countries outside Europe).


The illustrations of the model perform a very important function in determining the scope of protection of designs, and therefore also in the event of conflict. All characteristic external features must be visible on the drawing or photo of the design, otherwise they do not form part of the protection claim. Clear illustrations are therefore of vital importance.

Term of protection

For most countries, a design registration has a maximum term of protection of 25 years, provided that the renewal of the design registration is arranged in a timely manner every 5 years from the filing date of the design application.