WHO CAN REGISTER EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN?
European Union or Community design’s procedure is an open filing design system, which means that any person from any country in the world may file a application for Community Design, irrespective of whether he is a national of or has his residence or place of business in a country member of the EU. However, if the EU design applicant does not have his place of business, a real and effective establishment or his domicile in the European Economic Area, he must appoint European Design Attorney for all proceedings before EUIPO. The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of the 28 Member States of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
WHAT CAN BE PROTECTED AS EU DESIGN?
Registered Community Designs (RCD) protect 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. Such products may be any products of industry, fashion and handicrafts from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items; from household products, toys, furniture and electrical appliances to cars and architectural structures; from textile designs to sports equipment. Industrial design is also important in relation to packaging, containers and “get–up” of products. The EU design must have novelty and individual character. Novelty should be absolute novelty, namely worldwide novelty.
What rights are conferred by the Community Design Registration?
A registered Community design shall confer on its holder the exclusive right to use it and to prevent any third party not having his consent from using it. The aforementioned use shall cover, in particular, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.
TERM OF PROTECTION OF RCD
The term of validity of a registered European Union Design is 5 years as from the date of filing of the European Industrial design application.The Registrations may be renewed for four subsequent periods of five years, up to a total of 25 years.
Protection of designs in all EU countries can be derived from two possible ways, either by filing a direct application for Registration of Community Industrial Design (RCD) or by application for Registration of International Industrial Design designating EU. No matter which routes are taken, assistance, advice and close collaboration with a Qualified European Design Attorney is highly recommended and in some cases, as stated above, even obligatory.