In order to have designs protected in law, two conditions must be proved and satisfied: the novelty of the design and its original character.
Under Article L.511-2 of the Intellectual Property Code, ‘only designs which are new and of original character can be protected’.
The notion of original character is a subjective one which is not defined in law.
To determine original character, the court will look at the differences between the design in question and previous designs. A design is held to have original character when the visual impression of it taken as a whole is different from the impression given by a previous design.