Design Law

A basic knowledge of the Law is not enough to deal effectively with design law cases.

Design law is a complex area of intellectual property which, in addition to requiring a thorough knowledge of the pertinent legislation (about trademarks, patents, designs, the arts, unfair competition), also demands a specific expertise in design. Indeed, a lawyer experienced in design law must necessarily be familiar with the principles of product aesthetics in each of the industrial sectors concerned. 

Would you like to know the registration costs for your design? If you would like to receive a personalised quote, we have created a digital, interactive tool. Click the button (the process takes less than two minutes and the quote is delivered instantly).

We provide strategic advice on the protection of design projects. We also assist companies and professionals in litigation concerning design projects or products. As design is the outward appearance that gives value to an object, we focus mainly on the following areas:

  • Furniture design (furniture products);
  • Fashion design (clothing, accessories, prints);
  • Housewares and kitchenware;
  • Web design (Apps and Websites);
  • Graphic design (Logos, Icons, Presentations, etc.);
  • Jewellery, watch and costume jewellery design;
  • Retail design (Format or design of fittings for shop networks).

As a general rule, the legal protection of Design requires the registration of products deemed new. The defence of creativity and investments, made by both designers and companies, is at the heart of design law.

You can contact us by booking an initial consultation appointment (in our office, by phone or even by videoconference).

>> Request your first Intellectual Property appointment <<

During the appointment, we listen attentively to the clients and assess their protection needs. You can read more in our information page dedicated to the first appointment.

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The Italian Industrial Property Code (Decree Law No 30/2005) contains a number of articles (from 31 to 44) on the protection of designs – i.e. the outward appearance that gives value to an object.

To be eligible for protection, designs must meet two criteria:

  • Novelty: the design of a product must not be identical to that of an already disclosed one;
  • Individual character: in the eyes of an informed user, the design is “new” if it is sufficiently different from previous designs.

Design protection is achieved by registering the design with the relevant offices – at national, Community or International level – and lasts 5 years, renewable for a further 5 years up to a maximum of 25 years.

Sometimes an individual does not want to (or is no longer in time to) register the design. In such cases, the law still provides protection, albeit in a more limited and less extensive fashion. According to Community Law, a design is protected for 3 years from the first disclosure, which means from the first time the design was made available to the public.

If design works possess artistic value, they are deemed to be “industrially applied art” – rather than mere industrial design. In this case, designs can be protected under Authors’ Rights (“diritto d’autore” in Italian Law) and are therefore protected for up to 70 years after the author’s death.

Some European countries do not distinguish between “applied industrial art” and “industrial design”. For instance, in France, any design work is protected by Authors’ Rights from its creation. Application for design registration is therefore only optional.

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Design Registration

The design registration service allows you to be granted an exclusive right to the aesthetics of a specific design.


Design Protection

The design protection service allows you to cease illicit plagiarism, copying or infringement and to be properly compensated for damages.



The novelty search service provides verification of the presence on the market of designs that are similar to or confusable with the one to register.


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