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Design protection is most often used to protect the appearance of a developed product, some externally visible element thereof, or else to e.g. a certain type of ornament or pattern. In design protection, the externally invisible aspects of a product are often meaningless.

A design application receives its final registration after a technical examination and a following opposition period, which is why the validity of a granted design is generally on solid ground. An advantage of design protection is its long validity time.