To be registered as a Community design, Article 4(1) of the Community Designs Regulation (6/2002/EC) (CDR) provides that a design must be new and have individual character.
When is a design considered new?
A design is considered to be new if no identical design has been made available to the public before the filing or priority date of the design for which protection is sought (Article 5(1), CDR). Designs are deemed to be identical if their features differ only in immaterial details (Article 5(2), CDR).
A design has individual character if the overall impression it gives to the informed user differs from the impression given by a design which was made available to the public before the filing or priority date of the design for which protection is sought (Article 6, CDR). When assessing individual character, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design is to be taken into consideration (Article 6(2), CDR).
A registered Community design may be declared invalid on a number of grounds, including the following:
The design does not satisfy the requirements for protection set out in Article 4 of the CDR (Article 25(1)(b), CDR).
The design is “in conflict with” a prior Community or national design which was protected (either by a registration or by an application to register) from a date before the priority date of the contested Community design (Article 25(1)(d), CDR).