The main differences between Community Registered Designs and Community Unregistered Designs.
A Registered Community Design (RCD) is an exclusive right for the outward appearance of a product or part of it, resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.
The fact that the right is registered confers on the design great certainty should infringement occur. An RCD initially has a life of five years from the filing date and can be renewed in blocks of five years up to a maximum of 25 years.
An Unregistered Community Design (UCD) is defined in the same way as the RCD but protects a design for a period of three years from the date on which the design was first made available to the public within the territory of the Community.
A UCD confers on its holder a right to prevent copying. RCDs and UCDs have to meet the same conditions to be protected.
Unlike a Registered Community Design, you do not have to file an application to protect an unregistered design. This simplicity does, however, have its downside because in practice the holder of the UCD may encounter serious problems proving that the protection exists.