is defined as "the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation".
Designs may be protected if:
- they are novel, that is if no design identical or differing only in immaterial details has been made available to the public;
- they have individual character, that is the "informed user" would find the overall impression different from other designs which are available to the public. Where a design forms part of a more complex product, the novelty and individual character of the design are judged on the part of the design which is visible during normal use.
Designs are not protected insofar as their appearance is wholly determined by their technical function, or by the need to interconnect with other products to perform a technical function (the "must-fit" exception). However modular systems such as Lego
may be protected."