Attorneys for Design Protection in Germany: Legal Representation in Design Law Matters
ZELLER & SEYFERT is a litigation law firm whose attorneys are specialized in representing clients in design right matters before German courts and the design right authorities in Germany and the EU – no matter if designs at issue are registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office, EU Community designs, or internationally registered designs with protective effects in Germany. Our attorneys are proficient in the enforcement, protection, and defense of the design rights of our clients in all of these cases.
Head of the IP law department of our law firm, dealing with design rights protection in Germany and the EU, is Attorney Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. He is a Certified IP Law Specialist and a Certified Copyright & Media Law Specialist. Throughout Germany and the EU, Atty. Dr. Seyfert has been protecting the design rights of his clients for many years and is a trusted expert in the enforcement of design rights.
Representation before German Courts
The general German courts (District Courts and Courts of Appeal) are responsible for the assessment of design right disputes in Germany. Within the German District Courts are the special chambers responsible for commercial matters. Our attorneys have represented companies in design right matters for many years before German courts. They will analyze your case and give your company advice on the legal situation in Germany and the EU.
Our attorneys will particularly enforce the following design right claims on behalf of your company before the courts:
- Unauthorized design use: Injunctive relief against the perpetuation of the unauthorized use of the designs of your company
- Right to information: Requests for information from the infringer on the nature and extent of the unauthorized use of the designs of your company
- Damages: Claims for damages, in particular profits made by the infringer of your designs and compensation according to the license analogy principle
- Destruction, recall, or transfer or illegal products: Claims to destruct, recall or transfer unlawfully manufactured or distributed products
- Destruction of manufacturing devices: Requests for the destruction of devices which were used primarily for the manufacture of illegally manufactured products
- Submission of documents: Claims against the infringer to submit their bank, financial or commercial documents
- Declaration of invalidity: Claims for the declaration of invalidity of a registered design right of your opponent, if the material conditions for the existence of the design right are not present
- Cancellation of a design right from the register: Claims for the cancellation of the registration of a design right of your opponent from the register because of the existence of priority rights to the benefit of your company
Legal Representation before the European General Court (EGC) in Luxembourg
The decisions of the Boards of Appeal for Community Design Matters at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) can be appealed to the European General Court (EGC) in Luxembourg. Our attorneys regularly represent companies in design law matters before the EGC. Our lawyers will advise your company on the procedure before the EGC and its chances of success in its case.
Legal Representation in Summary Proceedings (Speedy Trials)
In cases of particular urgency, our attorneys will swiftly enforce the design rights of your company before the competent court in Germany. Particularly urgent cases usually involve the seeking of injunctive relief against the perpetual infringement on the registered design rights of your company. The preliminary enforcement of certain cancellation claims, rights to information, and to the submission of bank, financial, or commercial documents for the later calculation of damages also often require urgent action. In these cases, our attorneys will deal with the design law matters of your company promptly and seek injunctive relief to the benefit of your company before the competent German court.
Legal Representation before the Design Offices
Our attorneys will also represent your company before the Design Offices in Germany and the EU. In Germany, the German Patent and Trademark Office, or Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), is responsible for the registration of German design rights and certain disputes about registered designs. In the EU, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is the responsible authority to deal with EU Community design right disputes.
Before the Design Offices, typically the following issues arise:
- Issues during design registration proceedings with the DPMA or the EUIPO
- Cancellation proceedings concerning EU Community designs before the EUIPO
- Complaint proceedings concerning EU Community designs before the EUIPO
Furthermore, our attorneys will also represent your company in the context of disputes over internationally registered designs before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Cease and Desist Letters – Pre-Litigation Representation Out of Court
According to German law, owners of design rights usually have the burden of sending the infringing party a cease-and-desist letter out of court in order to inform the infringing party about its design law violations and in order to seek a possible settlement between the parties. Rushing with a design law case to court without prior informing the infringing party about its design law violations may otherwise result in your company having to pay for the entire court fees and attorney fees of both sides, even if your company later wins the lawsuit.
Border Seizures by the Customs Authorities
Particularly successful design is often cheaply plagiarized by product pirates. These pirates then try to smuggle the counterfeited goods into the domestic market – to the detriment of the owners whose design has been plagiarized. Our attorneys will assist your company to intercept the counterfeited goods at the German border with the help of the German customs authorities and have the counterfeited goods destroyed right at the border. Our attorneys will initiate the appropriate border seizure proceeding on behalf of your company. Our attorneys will guide your company through the border seizure proceeding from the beginning of the procedure until its successful conclusion. For more information, please see further information at Border Seizures by the Customs Authorities.
Defending Clients against Design Law Claims of others
If design law-related claims have been put forward against your company in Germany, a quick response by a German attorney is usually necessary. In particular, if your company has already received documents from a German court or such documents have been served to you otherwise, a fast reply from a German attorney is essential. Litigation in Germany in design law matters is our attorneys’ forte. Simply contact us for a quick evaluation about your case.