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Don’t wait anymore and file your designs!

Although Spinners are a great success in schoolyards all around the world, their creator, Catherine Hettinger, a 62-year old American citizen, does not benefit from this creation.

While Catherine Hettinger created the play item in the 1990s, she only filed a patent in 1997 in Los Angeles, thereby gaining rights on her creation. In 2005, these rights had to be renewed, but as the creator could not pay for the renewal, she lost any entitlements on them.

Therefore, if you have a well-made creation in mind but cannot afford to file a patent, a new solution would be available to protect your intellectual property: the filing of designs and models. But this would only be to the extent that your creation is not imposed by additional technical functions.

How to do so? The expert staff of Heffels-Spiegeler is there to help you!


Why file a design and model?

In registering your design and model, not only will you insure an efficient protection of your creation, but you will enjoy a monopoly over the exploitation of your item for 5 years, renewable five times.

Therefore, such a filing offers protection on the drawing and modelling field, and provides a copyrights’ source of evidence. Finally, once your creation will be protected at the French level, this protection will readily be extended to other countries.


What conditions to register a creation?

So as to be validly filed, your creation will need to meet two conditions: it will have to be an innovative idea and have a unique character.

The innovative feature means that no drawing or identical or confusingly similar model shall have been disclosed before yours, ie having been made available to the public via any means of communication.

As for the unique character feature, the drawing and design to be filed shall not in any way create the impression that it is somehow similar to an existing item.

Thus, prior to the filing, it is finally up to you to check on these two conditions. Indeed, although it does not constitute a mandatory verification, we would advise you to do so in order to avoid any opposition or cancellation request.


How to register a design and model?

Filing can be done online via the INPI website, by post, or directly at the head office of INPI.

Such a filing costs 39 euro for a 5-year protection, regardless of the number of drawings and models that you would like to register. It would cost up to 59 euro if you choose a 10-year protection. Plus, the reproduction cost per model would be valued at 23 euro for a black-and-white reproduction, and 47 euro in colour.


What about the use of your design and model abroad?

If you want to use your invention abroad, you can decide to protect it there. In that case, you will have two options.

If your exploitation is limited to the European Union territory, you will merely have to submit a single application to the European Union Intellectual Property Office. On the contrary, if your exploitation goes beyond European barriers and extends to an international level, you will have to submit a single application to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Finally, you can opt for the filing of your drawing and model in every country you are interested in a protection.

Would you like a personal consultation on your filing or wish to be receive support and assistance? Don’t wait any more, contact our legal team who will be glad to meet you and advise you on your filing process!

Marion Corvée