Edited by Gustavo Ghidini, Hanns Ullrich and Peter Drahos
This essay examines how the protection of designs of mass-produced goods has developed in the EU. Starting from a Nordic perspective, it is pointed out how the coverage of the protection of design has expanded dramatically over time. As a result, today’s designers often find themselves at a smorgasbord of protection options in copyright, design law, trade mark law and unfair marketing law. It is shown how this development has taken place in a piecemeal way and not according to any general master plan. It is argued that the combined effect of these developments is a risk of overprotection and of undermining design law as the base line protection model for designs. Finally, it is argued that the upcoming reform of the EU design system should seek to address these concerns and provide a clear platform for the design law protection scheme. To do so, a holistic approach should be undertaken which involves also the protection offered in adjacent areas such as trade mark, copyright and unfair competition law. Keywords Design law, EU, copyright law, trade mark law, unfair competition law
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