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Designs – first steps
What is a design?
A design is the visible form of a two-dimensional (patterns, such as fabric designs) or three-dimensional (models such as tooth brushes) object. The form is characterized through the use of lines, contours, colors, surfaces or materials.
A design can be protected when it is new and is distinguished from prior forms in significant points, and if it is not contrary to public morality or law. In addition, the form of a model must be more than just that which would be functionally necessary for the object.
Information on other protective rights such as patents and trademarks can be found on the Your Intellectual Property webpage of sme.ipi.ch.
Why protect a design?
Design is what grabs our eye and often makes us want to buy. Good design is expensive and time-intensive to develop. You, not imitators and plagiarizers, should reap the fruits of your labor.
The owner of the right to a design can prohibit others from using products with the same or similar design for commercial purposes, i.e., producing, importing, and exporting.
You can find out how to protect a design in Switzerland on our webpage Protection in Switzerland.
Documents and further information:
- «Envisioned. Created. Protected.», an Concise Guide to Intellectual Property. You can download the pocket-sized guide as a pdf or order it for free.
- Our guide Designs Protection (in German or French) contains everything you need to know about filing in Switzerland (order for free).
- Invent, Produce, Market: What role do patents, trademarks, and designs play in the innovation process? See our Guide for Innovative and Creative Minds.
- www.swissreg.ch: The Swiss register of protective titles includes information about nationally registered designs.