Digital designs – that is, designs for display on electronic screens – have recently burst onto the intellectual property (IP) stage. While in the U.S. a smattering of legal studies have recently addressed the question of digital design as a copyright-, trademark- and patent-eligible subject matter, a European perspective is still lacking in the literature. This study provides an overview of basic legal background to the protection of digital designs in Europe, explores firms’ actual digital design protection behaviors, and highlights some important practical and doctrinal issues that warrant further study.

Filitz, Rainer, Joachim Henkel und Jörg Ohnemus (2017), Digital Design Protection in Europe: Law, Trends, and Emerging Issues, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 17-007, Mannheim. Download


Filitz, Rainer
Henkel, Joachim
Ohnemus, Jörg


digital designs, intellectual property, RCD, interviews, survey