How am I able to know if my design is new and unique?
In order to prevent future conflicts, it is recommended to check design registers before applying for design protection. The respective registers will provide information about all registered designs. This way you will be able to learn if your design is unique or not.
A design is not considered to be new if identical design has been made available to the
public earlier than the design application date. Designs are identical if their features differ only in immaterial details.
Also, the design is not considered unique, if the overall impression it produces on the user differs from the overall impression produced on the user by any design which has been made available to the public earlier.
There are no list, how the earlier and the later designs should be different to produce overall different impression. Every time the patent examiner or the court makes the assessment and the decision is always based on case-by-case basis. All the similarities and differences between the designs are taken into account and the global evaluation is given. If you believe that the earlier design is registered, or that someone else are using or have applied for a similar design to yours, you should always consult professional patent attorney. The attorney will give you the guidelines and propose, how to solve the situation.