as well as Geschmacksmusterschutz and Gebrauchsmusterschutz are terms which refer to a certain copyright protection form.
Following the introduction of an unified and centralized registration procedure for both trademarks (via the ⇒Reichswarenzeichenregister) and patents (via the ⇒Kaiserliche(s) Patentamt), the latter became also responsible for various non-patent-related registrations. These non-patent registrations required the same basic procedure as registering a patent normally would.
The registrar had to file an application at the patent office, at the same time also providing a sample (Muster), in real or image, for reference. Everything the registrar produced and which resembled the sample was protected, every copy thereof by others was illegal; proof of rights could always presented in form of the sample provided to the registration office. It was threfore dubbed Musterschutz, literally legal protection based on an officially registered sample.
This form of coverage was first offered for registrations based on design or appearance, the so-called Geschmacksmusterschutz (introduced 1876). Items covered by this form either bear the mark Geschmacksmusterschutz, Geschmacksmuster ⇒gesetzlich geschützt or the short and simple Musterschutz.
Registrations based on the application, general use or function (as long as that did not interfere with patents) were covered under the so-called Gebrauchsmusterschutz (introduced 1891). Items covered by this form bear the mark ⇒D.R.G.M., Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster or Gebrauchsmusterschutz. It was left to the registrar if he wanted to include the registration number or not, the D.R.G.M.-related marking alone was the element with legal character. This form of registration was valid for three years.
Please take note that in 1949 the term Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster and all markings referring to it were replaced by Deutsches Bundesgebrauchsmuster (D.B.G.M.) while the neutral term Gebrauchsmusterschutz remained untouched.
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