Overview of the Registered Community Design

A Registered Community Design is an industrial property right and covers the protection of two- or three-dimensional forms of appearance of industrial or handicraft objects. A Registered Community Design is created by registration in the Register of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It essentially corresponds to the German registered design with the difference that the scope of protection of the registered Community design is limited to the territory of the European Union.

The main differences to the Unregistered Community Design

Unlike an Unregistered Community Design, a Registered Community Design also protects against parallel designs.

The most important difference to the Unregistered Community Design in practice: The legal validity of the design/design is presumed by law (Article 85 I CDR). In the case of an infringement, it is therefore assumed in favour of the proprietor that his Registered Community Design was new and had individual character at the time of filing. However, this difference has been put into perspective by the "Karen Millen" ruling of the European Court of Justice.

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The Registered Community Design

Prerequisites for protection, scope of protection, duration of protection and typical problems

  • Prerequisites for protection: novelty, distinctiveness (=differentiability in contrast to the level of creativity!), registration
  • Term of protection: five years from filing with the possibility of renewal up to a maximum of 25 years
  • Scope of protection: European Union
  • Scope of protection: Protection against "conformity in the overall impression": interaction of individual character, intensity of conformity taking into account the design density and the designer's freedom in the respective product class, not only protection against imitation, but also protection against parallel designers
  • Typical problems of infringement: individual character, overall impression, freedom of design of the designer in the previously known treasure of forms of the product class

Author: Attorney at Law (Rechtsanwalt) for Design Law and Specialist Lawyer for Intellectual Property (Fachanwalt fuer gewerblichen Rechtsschutz) Thomas Seifried