The design of a product is often decisive for its commercial success. A particularly attractive shape or motif can multiply the maximum price that can be asked for a given product.

Depositing a design makes it possible to prevent infringements. A protection can be granted to two-dimensional creations (fabrics, packaging, watch faces etc.) as well as to three-dimensional objects (furniture, watches, cases etc.).

A new Swiss Design Law was introduced on July 1, 2002. Under this law, the scope of protection granted has been considerably enlarged and the total period of protection has been extended to 25 years (previously 15 years), divided in 5-year terms, whilst the advantages of the former law, i.e. a fast, simple and relatively inexpensive procedure, have been retained; registration is usually obtained after only 1-2 months.

Multiple-design applications are possible in Switzerland (within the same class of the Locarno classification) and the overall costs for obtaining design protection in our country will depend on the number of designs (i.e. objects) comprised in the application and on the total number of representations to be published. A short description of the design (maximum 100 words) can optionally be filed. Although sealed applications are no longer allowed, it is now possible to request a deferral of the publication by a maximum of 30 months.

The same device can be the object of a protection by means of a design registration for its ornamental features and by means of a patent for its technical characteristics. Both titles can thus complement each other to provide comprehensive protection. Further information regarding design protection can be downloaded here.