Design law protects the appearance of products. This protection involves filing formalities with the intellectual property offices. It can sometimes be combined with copyright protection. What are the criteria for protection? What formalities must be completed? In which territories? What to do in case of infringement? How to enhance and exploit your designs?
Since its creation in 2011, Arénaire Avocats law firm has developed a solid expertise in design law. Arénaire lawyers support you throughout the life of your designs, from the creation process to the defence of your rights, including filings of applications and the drafting of agreements.
To benefit from an effective protection and defence of your designs, it is important to secure your rights upstream. The lawyers at Arénaire Avocats advise and assist you from the very beginning of your creations and manage your design portfolio from A to Z.
Arénaire Avocats: strategic counsel for the global protection of your designs
We develop a global strategy for the protection of your designs, creations, and productions. Depending on the legal constraints, your needs, and your objectives, we determine the most appropriate mode of protection. In particular, we advise on the territory of protection (national, European, international), and on the scope of protection (your medium and long-term projects). Our transversal approach to intellectual property enables us to advise you in a global and pragmatic way.
Designs can be registered, and therefore protected, as long as they meet the conditions of novelty and specific character (under French law) or novelty and individual character (under European law). In order to determine whether your design is eligible for protection under design law, we analyse its characteristics and conduct prior art searches.
It should be noted that if the design also meets the condition of originality, it can benefit from a double protection by copyright.
Arénaire Avocats: drafting and negotiating your design exploitation agreements
Once you have secured your monopoly on the design of your product, you can exploit it peacefully. In order to do so, it is often necessary to conclude contracts with partners. Arénaire Avocats’ lawyers counsel you, negotiate and draft your design licence or transfer agreements. We also provide you with our expertise in the field of commission contracts when the creation of the product design is entrusted to a design agency.
Arénaire Avocats: expert lawyers in design litigation
Arénaire Avocats assists and represents you in all your design disputes before the civil and criminal courts. We work with you to develop a pre-litigation and litigation defence strategy, assessing the risks and chances of success of a possible trial. Our team defends your interests, whether in the context of amicable settlements, mediation, or arbitration procedures, or in the context of litigation.
Our lawyers have developed a recognised expertise in civil design litigation before the specialised French courts as well as the European courts.
- seizures to establish proof of infringing acts.
- summary proceedings in urgent and obvious situations.
- actions for infringement of designs, copyrights, and unfair and parasitic competition.
- proceedings for invalidation of designs.
Criminal and customs proceedings
In addition to civil proceedings, our lawyers have extensive experience in criminal proceedings relating to designs. Thibault Lentini and Pierre Massot are, moreover, the co-authors of the JurisClasseur booklet No. 7531, entitled “Customs and counterfeiting – The powers of customs in the fight against counterfeiting and the proceedings initiated following customs intervention”, published in September 2019.
Our expertise extends to:
- the implementation of customs surveillance procedures in France and throughout the European Union.
- Customs detention and seizure procedures.
- assistance in criminal or customs investigations as well as in the context of judicial information initiated by an investigating judge.
- design infringement proceedings before the criminal courts.
Arénaire Avocats: your partner for the management of your designs
Formalities for filing design applications
Depending on your activity and your objectives, the Arénaire Avocats team advises you on the scope and geographical area of protection and carries out all the formalities for filing and registering your designs:
- in France, at the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI),
- throughout the European Union, with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO),
- internationally, with the Hague System.
Renewals, surveillance, and records
Designs are registered for an initial term of five years. They can be renewed every five years, for a maximum total term of 25 years. In the course of their exploitation, they may be subject to records, such as licences, transfers, etc.
It is also advisable to keep an eye out for new registered designs that may be identical or similar, in order to protect your monopoly.
To make sure that you do not miss any deadlines, Arénaire Avocats takes care of the management and monitoring of your designs.
Designs: design protection for all sectors of activity
Designs: our experience is our strength
The entire Arénaire Avocats team is committed to providing its clients with quality advice. Over the years, a real relationship of trust has been created. Our expertise, our pragmatism and our availability are the values that have convinced our clients to entrust us with their cases:
- Counsel and representation of one of the main players in the decoration and furnishing sector in Europe in an action for infringement of unregistered Community models, opposing it to a European group established in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in particular.
- Counselling and representing a leading French SME in the field of designer bathroom furniture in an action for infringement of unregistered Community designs against e-commerce companies established in France and Spain.
- Counselling and representing a leading French SME in the field of childcare in an action for infringement of registered designs.
- Counselling and defending a French importer in a customs procedure relating to a world-famous three-dimensional trademark.
- Counsel and representation of a group of importers in the context of an action for invalidation of several dozen trademarks in the field of leisure games.
Sharing our expertise in design law
The lawyers of Arénaire Avocats have a solid reputation in the fields of design law and copyright law. They regularly publish articles and books which are references among legal professionals. They also give lectures and training courses, particularly at universities.
Are you wondering whether your design is protectable? Do you want to enhance and exploit your designs? Do you want to entrust the management of your designs to trusted professionals? Do you need an expert design lawyer to represent you in a dispute? Then contact us! We will discuss your situation and your needs and determine together the solutions we can provide.