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Design Branding

The design of a product can be so specialized that it acts as an indication of the product’s origin. Consumers can then see from this typical product design or even the packaging that the product originates from a specific manufacturer.

In some rare instances, even the color or color combination of the product, its packaging, or its sales places can point out the origin of the product to consumers. However, in many cases, the color doesn’t start acting as an indication of the product’s origin until the product has become very well-known.

Take the case of oil and fuels, for example: if there is a strong presence on the market and the products are well-known, the color combination of the service station’s outfitting can indicate their origin. The specially shaped bottle of a well-known caffeinated soft drink is one example of design branding. Another could be the large variety of creatively shaped flasks of perfume, some of which are so distinctive that they would be fundamentally well-suited to act as an indication of the perfume’s origin.

Design branding is suitable for international use in a very special way — as are figurative sign — since consumers can recognize the product by its design, regardless of the product name or word mark that is used on any one particular market.

Trademark protection in the form of a three-dimensional mark, a position mark or a color mark is possible for design brands. However, stringent demands concerning special features of the design — and often how well it is known, too — have to be met in order to obtain protection for this type of design. For this reason, it may be advisable to apply additionally or as an alternative for design protection offered by a design patent or registered design relating to the shape of the product or its packaging.   More...