Simont Braun - Avocats advocaten lawyers

Designs

An eye-catching design is an effective sales argument. But the legal protection of design raises delicate questions: several IP regimes are available, contractual issues may arise between the designer and the employer, manufacturer or user, technical features are excluded from protection, etc.

Like any other IP asset, designs need to be considered by a company when structuring its business and marketing strategy.

Our fields of expertise


Simont Braun assists clients in identifying which features of the product or its presentation can be protected, taking into account our client's global strategy and objectives under the different applicable legal regimes (copyright, unregistered design, registration, trademark and fair trade practices). Against this background, we cooperate with communications agencies and other professionals according to the needs and wishes of the client regarding the creation, protection and exploitation processes. We defend the design registrations in court (including the EU General Court and Court of Justice) when challenged by competitors.

We manage the contractual issues (also with consideration to corporate and tax aspects) arising from the creation process and the exploitation of design creations (registered or otherwise).

In various fields such as clothing, luxury accessories and products, cars, furniture, baby products, industrial tools, culinary instruments, etc., we provide assistance in enforcement issues, resolving litigation with a solution-oriented approach via negotiation, mediation, arbitration or judicial procedures in all courts (including the Belgian Supreme Court and the EU courts). Our experience also includes opinions and transactional work for R&D schemes, licencing schemes, transfers, distributorships, branding, etc.

Some recent projects



  • Successful enforcement of the registered design rights held by a French manufacturer of accessories for the cooling industry in a multi-jurisdictional context (France and Belgium);

  • Defence of a decorative panel manufacturer in the building sector against claims of infringement;

  • Obtaining cancellation by the EUIPO of several registered designs due to infringement of a prior copyright in France;

  • Successful defence (including before the Supreme Court) of a Scandinavian jeans manufacturer against a copyright infringement claim brought by a French designer.