What is a design?
Drawings or designs are two types of products. We refer to a drawing if the product to be protected is two-dimensional (for example the pattern or design on wallpaper, textile, tiles or crockery), and we refer to a design if the product is three-dimensional (for example the design of (mobile) telephones, household devices, furniture, packaging materials, building materials, sanitary fittings, toys or cutlery).
It is also possible to protect a combination of a drawing and a design, for example a drawing attached to a three-dimensional object, such as the decoration on a vase. This is an instance of a two-dimensional decoration and a three-dimensional form. The exterior is then determined both by the product and the design.
Floor van de Water (34) designs bags under the brand name ‘by LouLou’. Particularly her Smart Little Bags (SLBs) – handbags designed to hold a purse, keys and phone – have proven to be a real hit. As a result, her designs are regularly copied. ‘Seven major manufacturers have already copied my SLBs so far, right up to details like the little mirror and the lining.’
Thankfully, Floor registered her brand name ‘by LouLou’ and the various designs. ‘Invoking the registration is a really effective way of dealing with fakes. The main thing is to get the copycats to adjust the design in such a way that consumers can tell the difference between their product and my design. In most cases they tend to oblige, although I do have one court case pending at the moment. Still, I’ve finally got a leg to stand on now thanks to the design registration.’