Community Registered Designs

Community Design Right

Community Design Right is governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 (“the Principal Regulation”). 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”.

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”.

Community Design Right

6. Community Design Right is governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 (“the Principal Regulation”). 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”.

7. 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”.

8. Article 36(1) of the Principal Regulation sets out the requirements of a valid application for registration of a design, which include “a representation of the design suitable for reproduction”. Article 36(2) also requires an application to “contain an indication of the products in which the design is intended to be incorporated or to which it is intended to be applied”. Article 36(3) states that an application “may contain” various things, including “(d) the classification of the products in which the design is intended to be incorporated or to which it is intended to be applied”. Article 36(6) states that “[t]he information contained in the elements mentioned in paragraph 2 and in paragraph 3(a) and (d) shall not affect the scope of protection of the design”.

9. Commission Regulation (EC) No 2245/2002 (“the Implementing Regulation”) implements the Principal Regulation. Article 4(1) of the Implementing Regulation states that the “representation of the design shall consist in a graphic or photographic reproduction of the design, either in black and white or in colour”. Up to seven different views of the design are permitted. Reflecting article 36 of the Principal Regulation, article 4(1)(c) of the Implementing Regulation states that “no explanatory text, wording or symbols, other than the indication ‘top’ … may be displayed”. And article 4(1)(e) provides that the images accompanying an application to register a design “shall be of a quality permitting all the details of the matter for which protection is sought to be clearly distinguished … for entry in the Register of Community Designs”.

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