Amicus Brief

Re: Case C-472/21 Monz Handelsgesellschaft lnternational mbH & Co. KG vs. Büchel GmbH & Co. Fahrzeugtechnik KG

Published: December 2, 2021


To: Court of Justice of the European Union

Our Position

Design Protection covers the “appearance” of a product. As a general rule, inner components (in particular, spare parts for machines)—which, after assembly, are no longer visible—cannot be design protected. Together, the requirements of “visibility” and “normal use” for components of complex products in EU design laws are seen as an extra burden for practitioners. Visibility should be interpreted in an abstract manner (i.e., contrary to “hidden” or “encased”) and independent of the subjective qualities of a specific user or optical angle. Hence, there is no need for a special provision in design law dealing with the “visibility” of components of complex products.