Relationship between Design and Copyright
Due to the recent case-law, the relationship between design and copyright law has shifted. Both rights are now applicable side by side, as they are essentially different. For reasons of copyright protection the individual design ("originality") and for the design right the characteristics (different overall impression in comparison with other design) is crucial.
A copyright assumes that a work was created as a result of "personal intellectual creation". This includes the so-called commercial art, so the design of articles of daily use. Prerequisite for copyright protection is that a certain level of creativity must be given, so the work goes beyond the known ordinary status quo.The protection of a design as a "little brother" of copyright law does not require above-average level of creativity, but merely characteristics with which the design differs from other pre-existing patterns.
The recent decision of the Federal Court applies to "commercial art" distinguishing between the copyright protected work and the purely functional design. Thus, the aesthetics may not be necessary due to the actual handling of the object, but it must be based on an characteristic design.