Differences between a 3D Community Trade Mark and a Design

It is possible to obtain both forms of protection. A Community design will be protected if it meets the legal requirements of novelty and individual character at the time of filing. The protection granted by a Community design extends to the shape, lines, and contours of a product to which it is incorporated or applied. A 3D CTM will be granted if the product can be considered as a sign which distinguishes the applicant’s goods from those of anyone in a similar business. The protection granted by a Community trade mark is related to the distinctiveness of the sign itself compared to identical reproductions and signs with visual, phonetic or conceptual similarities leading to a likelihood of confusion.

It is possible for example to protect packaging as both a CTM and RCD if they meet the corresponding legal requirements: a novel shape becomes synonymous with a company’s goods and may then be registered as a trade mark as well as being protected by a Community design on the grounds of its individual character and novelty.

For more information on protecting your design in the EU, please contact this office.

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