What is a model registration?

A model is the external appearance of a product. Think of the shape of a product (product form) or the appearance (design) such as packaging. A graphic image (a logo) can also be protected as a model. It must be two-dimensional or three-dimensional forms.

You will receive protection for the model via a design registration. At European level, this protection has been possible since 2003. A European design registration gives you the exclusive right to use the model in all 28 countries of the European Union. With one application you will therefore be protected against infringement in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, etc. Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Requirements for a model application

Virtually all product forms, components, packaging and images can legally be a model and can be applied for as such. Think of coffee makers, furniture, sports cars, but also logos. However, a model must meet two requirements:

  1. The model must be new: The model or a comparable model must not have been placed on the market before. If the model has been known for more than 1 year before the application date, it is not new anymore.
  2. The model must have its own character. This means that the general impression generated by the model deviates from the general impression of already existing models.

The registration procedure

First of all, we discuss with you how we can best apply for the model. After further coordination of the images, we submit the application to the Harmonization Office in Alicante. The receipt is then confirmed by the office and the model receives an application date and a depot number. The European authorities then assess whether the application meets all requirements, after which the model is published and registered. The model is now protected, and you will receive a registration certificate from us.

How long will you be protected?

The duration of a design registration is 5 years and can be extended up to four times to a total protection term of 25 years.

When do I have to deposit?

Preferably as soon as possible. After registration, your protection will apply from the filing date. The sooner the better. As soon as the model is finished in the final form, you can already request it. In addition, it is also wise to register before you put the model on the market, because this prevents others from registering your model or a comparable model before. When a model has been on the market for more than 1 year, it can no longer be registered.

Why register a model?

– A European design registration gives you a clear, demonstrable and legally enforceable right in all 28 countries of the European Union. Your registration immediately makes clear that the model is protected. You can easily act against counterfeiting and infringement of your model.

– A European Model Registration is cheap: Your model will be protected for 5 years. – The European design registration provides you with protection within a short time. On average, your model is already registered after one month.

– By registering your model, your model also becomes commercially marketable. After all, you have an official registration certificate from the European Model Agency, which makes it immediately clear to everyone what your model entails. This makes your daily contact with licensees, distributors, buyers, producers and competitors a lot easier. A model is fairly easy to transfer or license.

Our services

At Merkenbureau Heemskerk you are always assured of a legally trained trademark advisor. Unlike many trademark consultants from other agencies, our trademark consultants have always completed legal training with additional specialization in the field of Intellectual Property. As a result, in addition to practical knowledge, we also have the legal quality to advise you on the protection of your models in Europe. We also have a large international network of trademark advisers, patent attorneys, lawyers and notaries that we can use to represent your interests.

We offer the following services:

– consultation and advice on the best protection strategy for your models – advice on the recordability of your model

– submit, supervise and handle the entire registration procedure

– managing your model portfolio and monitoring essential deadlines

– conflict resolution, advice, negotiations and other legal services


Merkenbureau Heemskerk uses a fixed rate for a European design registration.  For the current fees, please contact u. We assume that the depositor himself takes care of the correct images of the model. If you simultaneously deposit different models in the same category (a multiple depot), the costs for the second and subsequent models are much lower.

Unregistered model

In addition to the registered model, European design law also has the unregistered model. This protection only applies to counterfeiting and is only 3 years. In a case of infringement, you will have to prove yourself that you have introduced and used the model and that the other person has copied this model. This often results in practical problems and often long, costly procedures. In view of the low costs of registration and the clear and more complete protection, we therefore always recommend to officially register your model.


In order to carry out a European design registration, we need the following:

– Clear images (photos or drawings) of the model from different views to show the model as well as possible. The model must be depicted against a neutral background.

– A copy of an extract from the Chamber of Commerce.

– A written order confirmation

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. If you have all the equipment ready, you can send it or e-mail it to your permanent trademark advisor. After receipt we will coordinate the further procedure in consultation with you, after which we start the registration immediately.