Article 4(1) of the Principal Regulation explains that a design “shall be protected … to the extent that it is new and has individual character”.
The word “design” is defined in article 3(a) as “the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation”.
Article 6 explains that a design has individual character “if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public.”
Article 10(1) states that “[t]he scope of the protection … shall include any design which does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression.”
Article 10(2) states that, when “assessing the scope of protection”, “the degree of freedom of the designer in developing his design” is to be “taken into consideration”.
Recital (14) of the Regulation mentions that “a design has individual character” if “the overall impression produced on an informed user viewing the design clearly differs from that produced on him by the existing design corpus, taking into consideration the nature of the product to which the design is applied ….”
Recital (24) states that it is “a fundamental objective” that the procedure for registering a design “should present the minimum cost and difficulty to applicants”.
The most important things in a case about registered designs are the registered design, the accused object and the prior art, and the most important thing about each of these is what they look like.
Jacon J said in Procter & Gamble Co v Reckitt Benckiser (UK) Ltd  FSR 8 “ [t]he point of protecting a design is to protect that design as a design. So what matters is the overall impression created by it: will the user buy it, consider it or appreciate it for its individual design?”