Speaking Engagements

Michael Ritscher | 22. Kölner Symposium | 1 March 2024

Michael Ritscher, head of our practice group Intellectual Property, on March 1 2024 gave a presentation at the 22nd Cologne Symposium.

This highly prestigious event was attended by 200 participants, amongst whom many judges of the German Supreme Court. Michael talked about one of the most important developments in the area of EU, the shift of paradigm with respect to the protection of designs by copyright.

Thirty years ago, copyright protection for the design of everyday products was made dependent on very different conditions in the EU member states. According to the European Court of Justice, it has been clear since 2020 and is currently being confirmed by the revision of the Design Directive and the Design Regulation that these “works of applied art”, as designated by the Berne Convention, are protected throughout the European Union for 70 years after the death of their author if they are the result of a person’s own intellectual achievement, i.e. creative decisions. This achievement does not have to be above average or even artistic, as some courts and representatives of academia continue to argue. Michael Ritscher traced this development at international level, also for German law and provided some food for thought.

Share Article