A search can be made in the registers of designs and models to find out, if a design or model has already been filed. The search can be useful to determine whether an identical design or model to the one you want to protect already exists. If it does, your own design or model will not have the novelty required to be filed and its use could constitute a violation of the existing design or model rights.
A new search tool, the DesignView database has now been made available online, as part of the cooperation between the European Union Intellectual Property Office, which is responsible for registering Community designs and models, and the national intellectual property offices of the European Union Member States.
The DesignView database contains the registered Community designs and models and the designs and models filed at national level in the European Union.
Benelux Registered designs and models
It is available online.
A paid search can also be carried out by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP)
Register of Community designs and models
International Register of designs and models
The search result in the registers is not exhaustive - as many designs and models are not filed or remain confidential. In the absence of a register, you can search in the specialised circles in your sector. Consult the existing literature, visit tradeshows, search on the Internet, etc.
Do not restrict your research to the territory of the EU; any design and model that has been made public anywhere in the world at any time must be considered, if it is reasonable to think that it has become known, in the normal course of affairs, in specialised circles in the sector in question within the European Union.
In the event of doubt, it is recommended that you ask for advice from an intellectual property specialist in interpreting the results.