Protecting animated designs

Usually the laws on Design protection do not consider moving drawing as cartoons, instead they refer to “traditional” design or to other kind of publication format that sometimes are obsolete or overcome by the evolution of technology.

Aware of this problem and with a quite pragmatic approach, some IP Offices have begun to adapt their practices to allow registration of these new types of creations. This is the case of the Korean Office or the Norway one, which introduced a system to allow protection of “animated GIF”.

example of animated design that can be protected accoding to intellectual property laws

Similarly, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) has recently changed its practice in relation with the protection of moving drawing.


The OEPM accepts now to grant protection for the same through the Design framework under the following conditions:

  • the Design application must clearly mention that the object of protection is a cartoon or similar;
  • each view of the design (up to 7) must represent a sequence of the movement the drawing. In such case the examiner will not consider them as an individually, but as part of a unique design.

In case of doubts, the OEPM will have the option to ask for additional elements (such as video, or drawings in other formats).

In our opinion, it is about a good initiative aimed to adapt, some inevitably rigid tools as laws are, to the reality of today.