Design Protection in the Nordic countries: Welcome to the smörgåsbord

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

This paper describes the development in the Nordic countries for the protection of industrial designs. It is shown how the pan-Nordic Designs Acts in the 1970s followed a period where ‘modern’ functional designs did not receive much protection against imitation. This changed with the adoption of the Design Acts mostly, however, because of developments in copyright. The EU design system has replaced the Nordic Acts and today design law and copyright law are fully harmonized. Apart from design law and copyright, Nordic designers may also rely on (national) unfair competition law and to some extent even on trade mark law to gain protection against imitation of their designs. It is pointed out that because of this multitude of rights, designers in the Nordic countries today find themselves at a smörgåsbord of overlapping rights. Such an amalgamation of rights may lead to overprotection. Also it is noted that nowadays very few Nordic designers apply for national protection and instead prefer the EU system. The consequences of these developments are discussed and it is recommended to take steps to deal with the overlaps and to reconsider the need for national design systems alongside the EU system.
TidsskriftN I R
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)323-343
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 244238671