When compared to trade mark registration, there is much less uniformity to protecting designsÂ internationally. Therefore if you think there is a chance that you may want to use your designÂ outside of Europe, it is important to try and plan for this up front. This is because theÂ requirements for design registration, in for example the other main English speaking countries areÂ stricter than is required under the European Design System.
The main problem here is that like patents, the disclosure of a design is not limited to theÂ country in which this takes place. Therefore Â disclosure in one country can defeat the noveltyÂ required to register the design in another country.
Th main difference in design systems is that most countries do not allow a design to be disclosedÂ prior to an application for registration being made. Whereas in Europe a 12 month grace period isÂ allowed for testing. However this additional requirement may have another impact which may not atÂ first be obvious. This is the fact that even if you register in Europe straight away without usingÂ the grace period, this registration can in fact also defeat registration in other countries. ThisÂ is because as part of the European registration process the design will be published, unless theÂ applicant requests upfront that this even be deferred to allow other registrations to proceed.