Following a five-year tradition, on July 19, 2012 the yearly Symposium took place in the Munich facilities of the IP law firm BARDEHLE PAGENBERG. This year’s event was titled „Design – What’s that?“.

These are some exemplary questions which were treated and discussed with our speakers on the occasion of the “BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Symposium 2012” – at the inter-face of design, technology and the law.

Frequently, designs become icons or convert into trademarks – the hype about the „iPhone 5“ being just the latest example. Products communicate with the viewer and the consumer, sometimes in their own language of identical images, the language of form. What are, however, the ingredients for a successful process of “shape forming”? How do history, socialization, the “Zeitgeist” but also language, taste and technology interact in this respect? Against this background, renowned experts in the fields of design, technology and the law met at BARDEHLE PAGENBERG for a hands-on discussion about conformities and differences, trends and developments set against controversial talks and speeches. This was followed by an evening event where the attendees had a chance to exchange their opinions on the presentations with the speakers as well as the partners of the firm in a leisurely ending of a suspenseful event.

The start of five high-class presentations was made with „Drafting in the Archive – On the disappearance and reappearance of figuration in design” by Professor Dipl.-Designer Markus Frenzl, Faculty of Design, University of Applied Arts, Munich.

He concentrated on a historical approach to the topic, with knowledgeable and image-laden glances into the archive, searching for bygone and returning forms and treasures.

This was followed by Dipl.-Designer Felix Timm, Managing Director Busse Design + Engineering GmbH, Elchingen, whose “Form follows Function – Harmonising design and technicality” vividly dealt with the inter-face of design and technology. Technical products, in his opinion, have to function reliably, they should be easy and safe to operate and cheap to produce. At the same time, visual and emotional wishes and needs of the byers and users should be taken into account. Timm impressively demonstrates this balancing act between design and technology by various examples and perspectives.

After the lunch break at the BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Lounge there followed “The Future of Design”, presented by Professor Dipl.-Ing. Axel Thallemer, Department of Industrial Design, University for Artistic and Industrial Creation, Linz, Austria. He looked at the future of the designer profession: The construction process of technical products will be driven, according to Thallemer, by an analytical, solution-oriented process of creativity, to achieve with the most modern technical means a design optimized for the product. Nature’s principles of effect and growth serve as inspiration for questions of industrial design.

Next, Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, Master Watchmaker & Founder of Chronoswiss Deutschland GmbH, Munich, reported “From the Designer’s Studio”, offering a gripping and personal insight into the daily work of a designer – inspired by ideals, searching for his own expression and simultaneously limited by the technical challenges which the product, not the design, has to meet.

The last presentation with the title “Design and Law – Two Worlds ?”
was held by Sonja Klinger, Patent Attorney, Senior Design Counsel, Braun GmbH, Kronberg, who bridged the gap from design and technology to the law, drawing on decades of experience of successful design protection, nationally and internationally (such as in China). She also confirmed: Investing in a good and durable design makes a product more valuable, while at the same time attracting imitators. These investments need to be proteced against knock-offs and pirates.

A book will be produced about this event where all presentations including additional material will be published. The envisaged date of publication will soon be posted on the website of BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (