As an utility model, an design patent is an unexamined protective right, whereas there is no monopolistic audit authority in Germany for copyrights.
Design protection occur generally with a registration (European design protection can also be created for a limited time without registration) on the other hand, the existence of material requirements, the protection of copyright is assigned by law.
At the same time, design protection is “easier” to obtain, as the copyright protection.
For the latter, a Threshold of originality is required; this lies far above the innovative/ peculiarity of a design requirement. For the designer, therefore, the use of design protection is recommended; a parallel copyright protection is also possible.
Further significant differences are: the limited maximum duration of the design protection of a total of 25 years – since 2003, when the design law changed – as well as the possibility to register a multiple application for up to 100 designs or models for the same class of goods. In this case, for example, it is possible to register a hundred of different fabric patterns as multiple application.
Moreover, in the case of an unaffected design, it is assumed that design protection it is possible whereas the author demonstrates and proves that he is the originator, he has achieved a high level of originality.
Since 2003, Community Designs (due to the European Design Regulation that changed in April 2003) could be registered with registration priorities; the regarding conditions, period of protection and many other possibilities, provide cost-effective options and promise protection throughout Europe.