jump link

citizen service


You enter your place of residence or the place where you want to contact the administration or use the location sensing.


In the second step, you choose which information you really need.

Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Sign up for a design


Registered designs protect the appearance of industrial or artisanal two- or three-dimensional products, for example

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Vehicles
  • Substances
  • ornamental objects, or
  • graphic symbols.

Parts of products can also be protected as registered designs, for example the sole of a sports shoe or the cap of a writing instrument. General ideas, concepts, or design principles cannot be protected.

With a registered design, the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) grants a temporary monopoly on the appearance, i.e. the external shape and colour design of a product. The representations of the design (reproduction) that you file with the application are therefore particularly important. This is because only what is visibly reproduced in the representations is protected.

Protection is provided by entering the design in the register kept by the DPMA. It is valid throughout the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. As the owner of a registered design, you have the exclusive right to use the design. You can prohibit third parties from using your design in the manufacture, sale, or import and export of products. This also means that you, as the design owner, can take action against any design that does not give the informed user a different overall impression than your registered design.

When you register a design, it is checked:

  • whether the application satisfies the legal requirements, in particular whether all necessary information is contained and whether the design representations comply with the formal requirements, and
  • whether the applied design is designable, i.e. whether it shows the concrete shape and colour scheme of a product. The design must also be compatible with public policy and morality and must not constitute an improper use of national emblems or other signs of public interest.

However, it is not examined whether the design applied for also fulfils the other substantive protection requirements – for example, with regard to the novelty and character of the design. A design is therefore also registered if one or more of these protection requirements are missing. These conditions of protection are only examined in the event of a dispute in nullity proceedings before the DPMA or in the case of a counterclaim in infringement proceedings before the court.

If your design has been registered and no request for deferment of publication of the reproduction has been filed, the protection is valid for 5 years from the filing date. You can then maintain protection up to four times by paying the maintenance fees on time. In total, you can protect your design for a maximum of 25 years.

  • The registered design is designable (the concrete shape and color of a product is shown)
  • The design is compatible with public order and morality. State emblems or other signs of public interest may not be misused.
  • If you do not live in Germany and have neither a registered office nor a branch in Germany, you must be represented by a lawyer or patent attorney.
  • Application form for registering a design
  • Publicity reproduction of the design (up to 10 photographic or graphic representations)
  • Indication of the products in which the design is to be incorporated or for which the design is to be used
  • In the case of multiple applications (applications with several designs) in paper form, additionally: Annex sheet to the application for registration of a design
  • Payment of the filing fee: within 3 months of filing the application
  • Payment of the maintenance fee: no later than the end of each protection period (5 years from the filing date)

You can register your design in writing or electronically. If you want to register your design in writing:

  • Please download the application form for the registration of a design as well as – in the case of collective applications – the attachment form if necessary and fill out both.
  • Include the reproduction of the design on the replay form or as a JPEG file on an acceptable medium (CD/DVD) with the application. Up to 10 photos or other graphic representations of the design can be submitted as reproduction, in particular to show the design from different perspectives.
  • Enclose all the necessary documents and submit your application to the DPMA in person or by post (not fax). Please be sure to observe the legal requirements and the specifications for the reproduction of your design. Absolutely must be present
    • Details of the applicant
    • the rendering of the design, and
    • the product indication.
  • You will then receive an acknowledgment of receipt.
  • Pay the filing fees within 3 months of filing the application.
  • Your application will only be examined as part of the processing process at the DPMA's Design Division. The DPMA clarifies whether all information and documents required for the application have been received.
  • It is determined whether the application satisfies the legal requirements, in particular whether the communication complies with the formal requirements.
  • If all requirements are met, the design body will enter your application in the register. The registration will be published on the publication platform "DPMAregister" and in the electronic design sheet. With the entry in the design register, the design protection arises.
  • In order to maintain protection, you must pay the maintenance fees in good time at the end of each protection period (5 years at a time). However, you can only have your design protected for a maximum of 25 years.

If you wish to apply for registration electronically:

  • For applications for up to 10 designs, you can submit your application via the "DPMAdirektWeb" service, which is then valid without a signature and without an electronic signature.
  • If you would like to register more than 10 designs, please use the free service "DPMAdirektPro". For this you need
    • a signature card with a card reader
    • the application software "DPMAdirektPro" in order to be able to create and validate the application documents
  • You will then receive an acknowledgment of receipt.
  • Pay the unsolicited filing fee within 3 months of filing the application.
  • The DPMA will then check whether your design can be registered as described above.

Federal Ministry of Justice

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

No authority found