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Design Law




Design is defined as any industrial or hand-made object, excluding computer programs, as well as a combined product or its parts, objects such as packaging, representations of multiple objects perceived together, graphic symbols and typographic characters, or the whole or a single product. It is the appearance of the piece or the ornament on it resulting from features such as line, shape, form, color, material or surface texture.

If it registered according to the adjudgments of IP Law it is protected as registered design, and if it is presented to the public for the first time in Turkey, it is protected as an unregistered design.

Provided that the design is new and distinctive, it is protected within the scope of the rights provided by this law.

Design registration gives your products identity and by providing the monopoly right it substantiates that the design belongs only you.

Protection Term

The protection period of registered designs is five years from the date of application. This period can be extended up to a total of twenty-five years by being renewed in five-year periods.

The protection period of unregistered designs is three years from the date of first declaration to the public of the design which protection is requested.

Design Registration Application

Applicant: Owner of the design right; is the person who produces the design subject to registration or the product on which the design is applied, puts it to the market, sells, suggests to make a contract, and using it for commercial purposes.  Real persons or legal entities may request a design right.

Designer: the person who carries out the design. The names of the designers should be stated one by one in the designs that are created as a result of the group work. However, it can be kept confidential if requested. In case the claimant of the design right and the designer are different, the relationship must be declared during the application.

Termination of Design Right:

The right to design ends with the realization of one of the following reasons:

a) to be considered null and void,

b) The expiry of the protection period or the registration is not renewed,

c) Renunciation of the right holder

The Protection Area of Design

The design is protected in the relevant country under the laws of that country. Thus, the design must be registered within the framework of the laws of the country in which it will be used.

The Confluence of Law and Design

The concept of legal design, which establishes a connection between law and design, has shown its positive effects in recent years. Although the boundaries of the concept are not clear, the interest in the field is increasing day by day. There are many expressions that complete the concept. One of them is the concept of design-oriented thinking.

According to this concept; There are solutions to the needs of the people who are targeted to benefit from the service by empathizing. Apart from this, the concept of 'user-oriented design' also describes how the people who will benefit from the design will adjust the existing service so that the service customers can benefit from it. The concept that combines law and design means to include the design process in the field of law.

Visualizing complex issues in law degree makes it easier to understand any legal process. In this sense, diagrams and drawing maps are used while visualizing events. Apart from these, there are different methods and projects. For example, 'Learned Hands' used at Stanford University is one of them… In this method, the legal events which transmitted from real-life are gamified.

This allows law students to learn new informations. There are other privileges that this kind of education provides to students. Apart from this method, explaining law to students through comics is another preferred way. 'Bound by Law' is a project produced at Duke University. By force of the project, legal designs are used successfully in legal education. Apart from this, within the scope of another project, City University in London uses a special website for law education.

If a product meets the protection requirements of both design and patent (or utility model) legislation, the beneficiary can rely on both legislation (multiple - cumulative protection principle). For example, the appearance of a Ferrari car is protected by design legislation. Consider that this design provides fuel savings to the car due to the aerodynamic structure it brings. The fuel-saving feature of the design is protected by patent (and utility model) legislation. The person who wants to benefit from both protections must obtain both a design and a patent or utility model certificate. In practice, designs are confused with utility models rather than patents. In fact, the term utility design was used instead of the concept of utility model. However, the design is about the appearance; and the utility model is about invention namelt the function. 

Some designs may also carry the protection requirements of copyright law. In this case, the design in question benefits from protection as a work under both design and copyright legislation (multiple - cumulative protection principle). For example, graphic design embroidered on a vase is protected as a work of fine art if it is aesthetic in addition to the design legislation. It is a great advantage for design owners to protect their designs as works. Because, according to the design legislation, a design is protected for a maximum of 25 years; however the same design is protected as a work under the copyright legislation for the life of the designer + 70 years. Again, while there is a registration requirement for design protection, no registration is required for works.